Friday Staff Pick: My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts

Films

Oscar season is upon us, and while we don’t have any films in the running this year, we do have a few statues under our belt. In fact, the last one was for Torill Kove’s The Danish Poet in 2007. But truth be told, my personal favourite is another film she did with us, My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts.

In just under 10 minutes, Kove manages to brief us on Norwegian history, make us laugh and pique our curiosity. Mag Ruffman’s voice is just beautiful to listen to in the voice-over narration and the storytelling is seamless – where else would the King of Norway and Tonya Harding figure in the same story AND have it make perfect sense?

But at it’s core, this film is all about how 1 person CAN make a difference, how the actions of 1 person can affect the entire course of history. Imagine if your grandmother managed to single-handedly defeat the Nazis just by putting a little itching powder in a few soldier’s shirt collars. Far-fetched, sure, but Kove makes you believe.

Also? The scene in the movie theatre, where the grandmother leans over in her seat and tells a perfect stranger, “I iron the King’s shirts” makes me laugh every time.

Enjoy.