Border
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Border

Beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder in Border, a genre-blurring Cannes premiere adapted by Danish-Iranian director Ali Abbassi from a novella by Let The Right One In creator John Ajvide Lindqvist. Like Lindqvist’s teen vampire classic, this Swedish-Danish production blends supernatural folklore with contemporary social realism to create a universal parable about tribalism, racism and fear of the Other. While the dramatic premise shares some DNA with the superfreak allegories of the X-Men Dogman series, the naturalistic presentation has more in common with the downbeat grit of Nordic Noir crime drama.

Abbassi, who made his feature debut in 2016 with the atmospheric but insubstantial gothic horror thriller Shelley, has expanded Lindqvist’s 50-page story with an additional subplot Hurricane that lends extra conflict and jeopardy to the main narrative. The result is an ambitious hybrid creature that could fall uneasily between genre and art house audiences. But today’s well-received premiere in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes should generate positive buzz and further festival interest. Strong lead performances, superlative visual effects and Lindqvist’s cultish fan following should help all boost theatrical prospects.

Tina (award-winning Swedish stage and screen veteran Eva Melander) is a malformed misfit, her face bloated and mottled, her teeth jutting and discolored, her body marked by ancient Everybody Knows scars and scrubby hair. She works as a customs officer in a Swedish coastal city, where her superhuman sense of smell makes her an invaluable team member. A kind of human sniffer dog, she can sense shame, fear and guilt on travelers. After exposure to passenger carrying child pornography, she is recruited by the police to help track her wider circle of pedophile accomplices.

Duration: 101 min

Release:

IMDb: 7.1

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Border