Tina, who has grotesque, almost animal-like physical features, has always felt self-conscious about her looks. Regardless, she has: a live-in boyfriend, Roland, a dog trainer, at her isolated house in the woods, although they have never had sex, and Tina's father, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's, believing he is solely using her; the unconditional love and support of her father; a small group of friends; and the admiration of her bosses and coworkers in her job as a customs agent at the airport, as she is literally able to "smell" human emotions, especially guilt and fear. It is using that innate ability that she stops a seemingly straight-laced person entering the country, he who was found to be carrying a memory card containing child pornography. As such, her immediate supervisor, Agneta, places her on a small investigative unit to discover the producers of this material. Tina is surprised when she is found to be incorrect about another person going through customs, Vore, ...Written by
Shame, guilt and rage; Tina has the unique ability to sense what people are thinking. This and other qualities make her a superb border guard. She is also a daily target for bullying and snarky comments because of her looks (Tina was born with a facial disfiguration). Enter Vore, who not only looks a lot like Tina but acts like her and is surprisingly smug about it. He crosses the border frequently and keeps leading her off target with his own strange sensibilities, disrupting Tina's life. But there is something about Vore that attracts her too. "There is nothing wrong with you," Vore tells her. "If there is something different, it is because you are better." As her confidence grows, the border between Tina and herself diminishes. So do her defenses. Who is this man, and who is she?!
Border is a charming, unpredictable and extraordinary film that revolves around psychological insight and fantasy. The story telling is extremely well done and the character actors are excellent. It is full of delightful, even if unsettling, surprises. I loved that Tina had a good heart and was connected to the natural world and animals, often traveling to waterfalls, hiking in the forest and swimming in lakes night and day. A favorite at Cannes. You don't have to be Scandinavian to know what the film is about, but it helps (don't ruin the surprise by reading deeper beforehand). North American premiere seen at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
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