What is the wild-looking Jens (Frederick Lau) doing in the remote Luxembourg village of Schandelsmillen? Right from the start in Gutland, it’s clear that this German stranger has something to hide. Yet he is greeted heartily. He can help at harvest time, is invited for dinner and on his first night he beds the beautiful Lucy (Vicky Krieps). Is life in this small hamlet all that it seems? Mutual distrust grows; maybe Jens isn’t the only one with something to hide.
In her debut, Govinda Van Maele builds tension that seems plausible on the surface yet also takes curious turns. With a disappeared resident, seductive women and a box full of strange nude photos, Gutland not only has thriller elements but also a mysterious and surrealist mood, subtly unfolding in a well-paced narrative tempo. With beautiful – 35mm – images of the picturesque countryside of Luxembourg at it most sinister.