Anja and Tomas once had completely different plans for their lives. When the much younger Anja is diagnosed with a brain tumour, the way this successful couple goes through the motions of their well-organised life together suddenly collapses. To cap it all, it is Christmas. The shock of being confronted with mortality, a thought otherwise repressed in everyday life, transforms everything.
This film takes an unsentimental but empathetic look at how the perception of time suddenly changes: for the couple, their patchwork family and their circle of friends. Like an emotional earthquake, this changed perspective triggers conversations that had previously been put on hold and repressed thoughts and feelings are unleashed. Everyday spaces, casual gestures and ingrained conversational patterns turn out to be nothing but the guise of normality that only exists as long as the protagonists’ bodies are willing to play along. What happens when someone bows out? Håp (Hope) is the drama of a cooling relationship between two people who now find themselves faced with a new kind of reality.
by Maria Sødahl
with Andrea Bræin Hovig, Stellan Skarsgård, Elli Müller Osborne, Alfred Vatne Brean, Daniel Storm Forthun Sandbye, Eirik Hallert, Steinar Klouman Hallert, Dina Enoksen Elvehaug, Einar Økland, Gjertrud Jynge
Norway / Sweden 2019 Norwegian,  Swedish 125’ Colour


  • Andrea Bræin Hovig (Anja)
  • Stellan Skarsgård (Tomas)
  • Elli Müller Osborne (Julie)
  • Alfred Vatne Brean (Erlend)
  • Daniel Storm Forthun Sandbye (Isak)
  • Eirik Hallert (Henrik)
  • Steinar Klouman Hallert (Simon)
  • Dina Enoksen Elvehaug (Ada)
  • Einar Økland (Anjas Father)
  • Gjertrud Jynge (Vera)


Written and Directed byMaria Sødahl
CinematographyManuel Alberto Claro
EditingChristian Siebenherz
Sound DesignGisle Tveito
SoundHenric Andersson
Production DesignJørgen Stangebye Larsen
CostumesEllen Dæhli Ystehede
Make-UpAnja Dahl
CastingCeline Engebrigtsen
Production ManagerBente Maalen
ProducerThomas Robsahm
Executive ProducersYngve Sæther, Espen Osmundsen
Co-ProducersLizette Jonjic, Peter Possne
Co-ProductionZentropa Sweden, Göteborg
Film i Väst, Trollhättan

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Maria Sødahl

Born in 1965, the director graduated with a degree in film from the Danish Film School in 1993. After several short films and documentaries, she made her debut feature film, Limbo, in 2010. The film has won several prizes including at the Montreal Film Festival, the Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival and at the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund.


1988 Life is Hard and Then You Die; short film 1991 Rimini; short film 1993 Bulldozer; short film 1994 Sara; short film 1995 Africa 2000 De syv dødssynder: vrede (The Seven Deadly Sins, Wrath); short film 2010 Limbo 2019 Håp (Hope); Panorama

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020