Border | Chicago Reader

Border

Like the recent Brazilian masterpiece Good Manners, this Swedish feature begins as a naturalistic drama before transforming into a modern-day fairy tale. It never reaches the delirious heights of Manners, however; director Ali Abbasi maintains the same muted tone throughout (his color palette is also limited and bland), and the characters fail to evoke much sympathy. The film centers on an androgynous customs agent who possesses the ability to intuit people’s emotional states by smelling them. She meets a stranger who looks curiously like she does and becomes drawn to him, ultimately letting him move in with her and her boyfriend. For a while the film hovers around notions of identity (both national and gender based), but it abandons them in the second half in favor of narrative trickery. I found this compelling as I watched it, though I don’t feel I gained much from the experience. In Swedish with subtitles.

Credits

Director:

  • Ali Abbasi

Cast:

  • Eva Melander
  • Eero Milonoff
  • Viktor Åkerblom
  • Matti Boustedt
  • Jörgen Thorsson
  • Andreas Kundler
  • Rakel Wärmlander
  • Ann Petrén

Producers:

  • Nina Bisgaard
  • Peter Gustafsson
  • Petra Jönsson
  • Meta Foldager
  • Louis Tisné

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