Director Ali Abbasi ambitiously melds crime drama, mythological fantasy and art-house horror in this Swedish thriller.
Tina (Eva Melander) is a misanthropic customs officer with an extraordinary ability to literally sniff out criminals at a busy border checkpoint. When Vore (Eero Milonoff) a mysterious man with a peculiar maggot obsession, is selected for inspection, she detects that he is hiding something impure and unidentifiable. When their instant physical chemistry brings about a robust and strange animalistic connection, the two develop a powerful bond as they begin to explore the true meaning behind their strange, unique existence.
Both central performances are exemplary. Melander and Milonoff showcase the benefit of fully committing to a challenging role. They play their odd characters as if they’d lived in their skins forever, embodying both physical and emotional awkwardness, sincerely.
Border is a very difficult film to classify, walking the line between high-art and creature-feature. Drawing on Scandinavian imagery of folklore, at its heart it’s a touching fairytale about unexpected attraction, belonging and love, juggling the worlds of human dignity and magical realism with astonishing success. (Research Chris Coetsee) Astonishing indeed Chris. Where have the Scandinavians been, to emerge so profoundly on screen in merely five-ish years…?