Out Now On-Demand
Sense something beautiful.
Supernatural elements and border security collide in this Swedish Cannes winner about an oddly talented officer attracted to a recent suspect. Based on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In.
"Customs officer Tina is known for her extraordinary sense of smell. It’s almost as if she can sniff out the guilt on anyone hiding something. But when Vore, a suspicious-looking man, walks past her, her abilities are challenged for the first time ever. Tina can sense Vore is hiding something she can’t identify. Even worse, she feels a strange attraction to him. As Tina develops a special bond with Vore and discovers his true identity, she also realizes the truth about herself. Tina, like Vore, does not belong to this world. Her entire existence has been one big lie and now she has to choose: keep living the lie or embrace Vore’s terrifying revelations." (Cannes Film Festival)
Un Certain Regard Award, Cannes 2018
- Ali Abbasi('Shelley')
Fantasy, Thriller, Romance, World Cinema, Festival & Independent
Rating: R16 Sex scenes, nudity, violence, sexual abuse themes & content that may disturb
Swedish with English subtitles
Tina, the heroine in Ali Abbasi’s Border, is not your typical leading lady. With a protruding brow, pronounced underbite, ruddy skin and a strange scar on her tail-bone, she’s not a conventional beauty; nor is she exactly social, more at ease amongst the animals in the woods that surround her house than with her colleagues or dog-obsessed boyfriend.
Fortunately, though, she’s got something going for her: a position as a border security officer at a busy port in a Swedish coastal city, in which she excels.
In fact, so good is Tina at her job, seemingly able to literally smell out offending passengers, that she has a more-or-less 100 per cent success rate at identifying passengers smuggling contraband into the country.
That is until the greasy, leering, pot-bellied Vore passes through, awakening Tina’s senses so strongly she goes so far as to order a strip search—bringing up nothing.
Of course, the fact that Vore physically resembles Tina like no one she’s ever seen before (right down to that tailbone scar) is no small part of her instant magnetic attraction to him—and might also help her discover the truth behind her appearance.
Adapted from the short story of the same name written by Let the Right One In author John Ajvide Lindqvist, Border too is a strange, surreal hybrid of horror, romance and folklore—only this time a Hollywood re-make seems like a rather less likely prospect.
Both totally beguiling and borderline sick-making at times, Border gets pretty gnarly in places. With stunning visual effects and some very unexpected moments, it is not for the squeamish—and, without giving too much away, features one of the most insane sex scenes you’ll see in modern cinema.
Too broad to really work allegorically (doesn’t everyone feel like a yuck outside sometimes?) and with maybe a bit too much grim realism, Border is nevertheless elevated by phenomenal performances from its prosthetic covered leads and incredible visual effects.
Together with a compelling story and a willingness to really, shall we say, ‘go there’ Border is a rare, discomforting, and incredibly inventive film and the wildest love story you’ll see this year.
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)
Claire Van Beek
Disturbing, Intriguing, Visceral splendour
Drama / Fairytale/ crime thriller... This film makes you feel as much as it makes you think. It is rare for a film to engage your sensors as much or as well as is on offer in Border. We watched it tonight at the Sold Out (boutique) session at The Academy. A joy to watch with an audience, and a completely absorbing tale that is best watched knowing as little as possible. Warning - It may make you want to jump on a plane to Scandanavia so that you too can literally soak in the scenery.
A Swedish slow-burn adult fairy-tale
Featuring maggot-munching, fridge-babies, and an uncomfortably odd sex scene, Border is based on a short story by Let the Right One In author John Ajvide Lindqvist. A Swedish slow-burn adult fairy-tale, it’s a dark riff on ‘The Ugly Duckling’, powered by a superb central performance by Eva Melander as a customs officer who literally sniffs out smugglers. Director Ali Abbasi delivers a strange yet compelling tale, let down by a glacial pace that helps build characters, but hinders in terms of a “twist” those familiar with folklore will have guessed long before it’s revealed.