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Directed byUbbe Lindt
Written byLena Lindeman
Story byLena Lindeman
Based onthe book I Am Elise Nordin
Produced byHendrik Drakenborg
  • Heidi Gundersson
  • Jéssica Caetano
  • Karl Ljung
  • Kristina Olsson
Music byXander Halland
LivetsBok Ltd.
Distributed byLivetsBok Ltd.
Release dates
24 October 2022 (Montecara Film Festival); 11 November 2022 (International Release)
Running time
158 Minutes
Country Eldmark
LanguageEldmarsk Blostlandic

Tektonik is a 2022 Eldmarsk Psychological drama film directed by Ubbe Lindt, and based on the authorized biography I Am Elise Nordin written by Lena Lindeman, who advised the production team. Starring Heidi Gundersson, known for her roles as Nikki in This World is Not My Home and Yvonne in The Funeral of Baldr, she takes the role of the real life individual Dr. Elise Nordin, the first female neurosurgeon to practice medicine in Eldmark. The film follows Elise as she is first rejected from the Hammarvik Institute of Medicine because of her "lack of drive," though it was later revealed to be because of her gender, her fight to practice medicine after getting her doctorate and her residency in Grönsund, all the while maintaining a budding relationship with the secret love of her life, her classmate and eventually her nurse practitioner, Mariana Almeida, and the fallout once that secret is discovered. The film was included in the official selection at the 83rd Montecara Film Festival.

Plot Summary

The film opens with a recording of the testimony of fellow neurosurgeon and hospital board member Dr. Per Alva from the court case Eldmarsk Medical Licensure Commission v. Nordin (1989), citing her as "extremely talented and devoted to her work." In the audio clip, the voice of the prosecutor then asks "Did she ever talk about her early life?" This testimony will be repeatedly used as a means of advancing the storyline, and as such, the text cuts to a dusty flat in Erikstad, northwestern Eldmark. Young teenager Elise is sitting in a dimly lit room reading The Book of 1000 Flowers by Toma Iori, a literary classic about Senrian court life. She is enamored by the descriptions of luxury and the romanticization of love and beauty. She has to leave to do chores, most dreadful of which was washing the dishes her father left behind, as he leaves for his third shift job at a metalworking plant. As she is scrubbing the gristle off of a plate, she spots her friend Iggy through the kitchen window. She rushes through her chores to join Iggy, but as the scene changes, we see young Elise crying the next morning, holding the shreds of a note she apparently wrote. Going to school, she is commended for her attention to detail and her surgical abilities in the dissection of a cat. She privately shrugs it off, stating to her friends that she felt limited by the exercise and that she had to do most of the work of her peers. She sees Iggy in the hallway, who refuses to return her gaze. Her teacher, Mr. Blom, privately encourages her to pursue sewing, citing her precision in suturing. Elise asked why she couldn't work as a surgeon, for the teacher to chuckle and change the subject, saying that she was needed in the principal's office. The film cuts to later that night, where she, in tears, is forced by her parents to admit that she was suspended from school for "flirting with her female friends." They demand she never utter a word of this, lest it shame the family.

The prosecutor advances the plot with a question to Dr. Hiram Osby, former board member of the Hammarvik Institute of Medicine and Co-Chair of the Eldmarsk Medical Licensure Commission, the question being: "You initially forced Dr. Nordin to withdraw from the Institute of Medicine, but later approved of her medical license, even given recent events, you refused to revoke her license. Why?" The accompanying scene is en route to the Raudrena Medical Institute in Blostland via plane, where sitting next to her is a nursing student hopeful, Mariana Almeida, from the Ardesian city of São Agostinho. When Elise remarks about the night sky from the plane seat, Mariana strikes up a conversation about the papers in her carry-on bag. They discover they are heading to Raudrena for the same reasons as her, both were rejected from their respective colleges for being women. Elise initially rejects the assumption, saying that the stated reason was that the board didn't feel like she had enough drive to continue in the program, to which Mariana laughs and says that the board was lying. The scene follows them as they pursue their respective careers, one branching from the other, and a budding relationship they both enjoyed, but was cut short by their schedules conflicting, though they continually wrote letters to each other throughout their time apart. On the way to the airport to visit family, she was confronted and robbed by a Blostlandic punk, who described himself as a "real Blostie," and Elise an "Asterimutt." The local precinct dropped the investigation after pretending to pursue it, citing no evidence. Elise wrote a bit sarcastically about how welcoming the people of Blostland were to her, though she felt like she would miss home. Eventually, when she planned to return home after graduating and securing residency in Grönsund pending her license, she wrote to Mariana asking her to visit some time.

The scene changes with a question posed to Ms. Mariana Almeida herself, who was asked by the prosecutor if she "had been offered appealing positions by Dr. Nordin in exchange for her love?" to which Almeida flatly denied, only for the prosecutor to repeat the question. It had been a few years and Elise had joined the Keller and Alva Clinic for Neurosurgery as a fellow, though Keller outright rejected the possibility that Elise's name would go on the board "until later." Dr. Thorvald Keller, described as wealthy and materialistic, well-dressed and attractive. He was initially critical of Nordin, but saw potential and continued to mentor her. Inevitably, Keller would attempt to form a relationship with Elise, but this was refuted later. During this, unbeknownst to Elise, Mariana would hear of her return to the Asterias and visit Grönsund where she meets Elise in secret. Mariana was already an established nurse practitioner in a border town in Ardesia, where she holds a license with reciprocity in Eldmark. Elise jokingly says she'd find a way to hire her if she could, which Mariana takes literally. Eventually realizing this, Elise convinced Dr. Alva to hire Almeida as a nurse practitioner, citing her bilingual abilities. Eventually, it is revealed that Keller has noticed the couple's behavior and followed Elise home, where he witnesses the two kissing. He submitted an anonymous tip to the Eldmarsk Medical Licensure Commission that Mariana had exchanged sexual favors for Nordin's hire. This sparked two simultaneous lawsuits, one that Almeida lost but was later acquitted on appeal. Nordin's case got national attention due to her already public status as the first female neurosurgeon in the country.

With Nordin now on the stand, she was aggressively questioned by the prosecutors who implied that, had she "lived a more normal life she would be free of the perverse need to groom others into positions of power." Elise fired back, flatly denying the claims and that Ms. Almeida was on her own an excellent worker and harder working than any man she had ever worked for. This quote made headlines and was a popular soundbite on Eldmarsk television. She was ultimately acquitted on claims of corruption but was fined for having an "improper relationship." She promised to still have a relationship with Almeida. Her status as a symbol and her move to more liberal Sankt Albrekt to open her own clinic prevented her from being further discriminated against by the government. The final scene shows Elise and Mariana shows them relaxing on a beach on the Sisters Islands, where they have a beach house together. They stay silent as the wind washes over them. Elise has been reading from The Book of 1000 Flowers, where her own voice quotes a passage:

“How ever did I pass
the time before I knew you?
I think of that past time
as now I pass each passing day
in blissful harmony, knowing you.”