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Rúnar Rúnarsson Talks About Grief in Un Certain Regard Opener ‘When the Light Breaks’

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Marta Balaga In his fourth feature “When the Light Breaks,” Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson (“Volcano,” “Sparrows,” Oscar-nominated short “The Last Farm”) starts with a heartbreaking tragedy.

Una (Elín Hall) finds out that the boy she loves was in an accident. What follows is a day full of grief — and sunlight. The film opens Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section. As proven by “Sparrows,” you are not afraid to tells stories with younger protagonists.

Is it easy for you to go back to that mindset? Everything I write is based on my first- or second-hand experiences, which I then mix with fiction.

I also had an amazing cast, which is probably one of the first things you have to have. There is a lot of talent in Iceland, but we wanted the crème de la crème.

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