Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Border by Iranian-Danish director Ali Abbasi
"An original and highly ambitious premise that maintains its grip your attention and imagination." | Photo: Meta Spark&Kärnfilm AB 2018

Danish-Iranian director Ali Abbasi provides an exhilarating dose of Scandic noir - in a vengeance tale dealing with topical themes of racism and minorities blended with folkloric elements. It is an original and highly ambitious premise that maintains its grip your attention and imagination.

The main character of Tina (Swedish actress Eva Melander) works as a customs officer at a port where she presents a formidable figure, with her bloated features and discoloured teeth.

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She has an animal-like ability to sniff-out miscreants as they pass through the customs hall. After pulling in one passenger who is found with child pornography hidden in the case of his mobile phone, she receives promotion to the police to assist them with other aspects of crime.

Outside of work her life is joyless, sharing a forest house with her boyfriend Roland (Jorgen Thorsson) while her hospitalised father (Sten Ljunggren) is slowly fading away through dementia.

Her situation changes register when she stops Vore (Eero Milonoff) as he comes through the ferry port and she recognises in him a fellow traveller. He is equally misshapen and lumpen.

Their strange relationship leads the film in to the world of the supernatural and folklore, which in less capable hands could have upset the balance but instead adds layers of allegory. The two main actors Melander and Milonoff work wonders under all the prosthetics devised by Peter Hjorth, the visual effects supervisor.

The heightened mix of gothic fairytale and social realism makes for a fascinating foray.

Reviewed on: 12 May 2018
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When a border guard with a sixth sense for identifying smugglers encounters the first person she cannot prove is guilty, their relationship forces her to confront terrifying revelations about herself and humankind.
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Director: Ali Abbasi

Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist, Abbasi, Isabella Eklöf, based on a story by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Starring: Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff, Viktor Åkerblom, Jörgen Thorsson

Year: 2018

Runtime: 108 minutes

Country: Sweden, Denmark

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