The Average Color of the Universe

laurels icon Best Director Nominee
  • Female Gaze
  • 1h 4m
  • Narrative Feature
  • European Premiere
  • 2020

This film is no longer available.

In a life severely marked by loss, a woman lingers in the borderlands between memory and reality. Isolated and surrounded by nature’s primitive cycles, recollections flicker by as life becomes a stagnant vacuum. The boundaries of time are blurred but, within the infinity of the universe, she fights to find solace.

Alexandra-Therese Keining was born in 1976. Her award-winning LGBTQA+ feature film Kiss Me was screened at seventy-five film festivals internationally. Her film Girls Lost premiered in Toronto International and competed at Cannes Film Festival and The European Film Awards in 2016. She is currently developing a feature film, Paramour, for Sony.

Film Review: The Average Color of the Universe is a poetic meditation on the mental anguish and isolation felt by a grief-stricken woman, left to navigate her newly vacant days in a Swedish summer house. Director Alexandra-Therese Keining’s camera immerses you in the protagonist’s state of emotional numbness. Long, recurring moments of personal contemplation are bathed in rich, nordic light. The film’s naturalistic sounds are stripped down to single strands. This approach could almost feel tranquil if her domestic experience wasn’t punctuated by regular violent intrusions of excruciatingly painful memories of loss. The challenge of authentically conveying the burden of this fractured psyche falls to actress Jennie Silfverhjelm, who anchors the film’s oblique narrative through her ability to communicate pain without any dialogue. Her character questions the logic of the universe and its seemingly uncaring movements. The film is broken up into short chapters, each reflecting a different colour in the spectrum, and is bookended by documentary pieces narrating scientific discoveries around how light functions in the universe. Juxtaposing the vast, uncaring beauty of the natural world with the intimacy of an emotional journey, we are asked to reflect on the fragility of our lives and the immense challenge of extracting meaning from them. Josh Brown


Shea Kartellen

Executive Producer

Petra Jönsson


Sophia Ersson

Director of Photography

Karolina Pajak

Sound Designer

Jens Jonsson

Production Designer

Alexandra-Therese Keining