The NFB is committed to respecting your privacy

We use cookies to ensure that our site works efficiently, as well as for advertising purposes.

If you do not wish to have your information used in this way, you can modify your browser settings before continuing your visit.

Learn more

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

My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts, Torill Kove, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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.


Add a new comment
  1. I saw this short fill on the IFC channel and I am wondering if there is a DVD of it available at all? My 7 year old son and I LOVED this short film and we would love to have a copy of it. Or if there is a TV schedule of where it might be shown again soon in the U.S. Thanks so much. Brian in Texas.

    — Brian Neal,

Write your comment here