GOTEBORG, Sweden — Top Norwegian rap artists Karpe Diem’s feature “The Monkey and The Mouth,” which screen Feb 2 in the Nordic Light section of Sweden’s 41st Göteborg Intl. Film Festival, has been picked up for event releases and worldwide digital distribution by Denmark’s LevelK. It will next month be presented at the European Film Market during the 68th Berlin Film Festival.
Introduced as ”a never before seen” hybrid of music video, live-concert and fiction feature,” and also a first feature from Norwegian director Thea Hvistendahl – “The Monkey and The Mouth” follows the award-winning Muslim-Hindu hiphop duo of Chirag Rashmikant Patel Magdi (The Monkey) and Omar Ytreeide Abdelmaguid (The Mouth), who came together when they met as students in 2000.
In the film they exasperate Norwegian and international societies, challenging freedom of speech and poking fun at both themselves and politicians. They are jailed for their everlasting criticism of Norwegian society, and as they wait for their sentence, an unexpected conflict occurs, testing their years-long friendship.
“For me, ‘Karpe Diem’ is a unique example of what can bring people together in our increasingly polarized society. We wanted to explore themes like race, orientation, sex and religion, constantly balancing entertainment and satire,” explained Hvistendahl, who has so far specialized in shorts and musical videos, including most recently Karpe Diem’s top-listed “The Muslim Elephant.”
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The video theme was expanded in “The Monkey and The Mouth,” which also includes excerpts from three sold-out shows at Oslo Spektrum.
The film was produced by Kristin Emblem and Therese Bøhn for Norway’s Einar Film. Before the presentations at Göteborg and at the Berlinale, the film had four full-house screenings in Oslo.