Gräns/Border (2018)

Director: Ali Abbasi
Starring: Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff .Denmark/Iran/Sweden. 1h 50m

It’s clear from the outset of Ali Abbasi’s latest project, Border, that aspects of his debut Danish horror Shelley (2016) were going to pour through. It chooses to focus on a strange character, whom one might pass everyday and not really notice, and this character and her job at border control only goes to empahses out many conflicts of globalisation.

After sniffing out a teenager over his quota on alcohol he mumbles “Ugly bitch” at Tina (Melander) a border guard at a Swedish ferry port who has an uncanny sense of smell, not only can the stocky lass smell illegal imports but her attuned nose can even sense guilt on an SD card harboring child pornography. After work Tina returns to her home in the woods, which she shares with a lazy and feckless dog trainer Roland (Jorgen Thorsson) their platonic relationship is purely for convenience and it’s evident how little he really cares for Tina but she entertains herself by exploring the natural world around her where she appears to be more comfortable, during these voyeuristic nature scenes, Tina is often happier in her naked form and Ali manages to capture a romance between a woman and the natural eden that surrounds her with a sensitive eye.

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