Directed by Ali Abbasi
8th – 14th March 2019
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
Set in Sweden, mostly located in natural world territory, this surreal and macabre film symbolised the bestiality within humans, a species which is the most destructive on earth.
Some may compare it to Eraserhead, directed by David Lynch, but I am not sure about that view.
The central character is Tina (Eva Melander), a dour customs officer in a far from busy Stockholm-based seaport. She has the uncanny knack of being able to literally sniff dodgy passengers disembarking from ships, and has an astonishing sense of smell and pronounced intuition.
Tina is also acutely aware of people smuggling in contraband but equally able to pinpoint those who are feeling a strong sense of guilt and shame.
On one such occasion she encounters a man named Vore (Eero Milonoff). He has similar characteristics to Tina, such as unusual facial features, including an open mouth like a bear. She has a warm but at the same time a lukewarm attraction to him.
One disgusting habit he has is in collecting maggots and to frequently munch on them with relish.
Iranian-born Swedish director Ali Abbasi has based the film on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, which is highly fascinating to watch, notably the scenes shot in a forest where she lives.
She is an animal lover, even wearing at one point, a jacket adorned with images of wolves.
One distinctive aspect of the filming of Border is that it is embellished with cold green hues, that further evoke the sinister and other worldly mood.