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
Aubrey Plaza, involved in no way with the film, was such a fan of it that the filmmakers offered to allow her to host a screening. She arranged this screening at a theater in Los Angeles and invited sixty people to attend. Ten minutes before it was to begin, she was informed that the film had not arrived in the theater. She went into the lobby to announce this, but mid-announcement was told the film had arrived. Everyone was seated and then forty minutes went by. She asked friends Fred Armisen and Nick Kroll, who were in the audience, to go on stage and entertain everyone. Armisen pretended to be the film's director while Kroll took questions from the audience. This lasted another twenty minutes. Ultimately the theater management said the film never arrived, but offered to show the crowd the film Suspiria (2018) instead. Then, an hour into showing Suspiria, they cut the film off abruptly and began to play Border, which had finally arrived. Plaza relayed this story on Conan (2010). See more »
In the end credits, "Stockholms Hamnar" (Stockholm Harbors) is misspelled as "Stockholms Hamner". See more »
I don't see the point of evil.
So you want to be human?
I don't want to hurt anyone. Is it human to think that way?
See more »
One of the most original and fantastical movies of the year
"Border" (2018 release from Sweden; 110 min.) brings the story of Tina. As the movie opens, we get to know Tina, a Swedish Customs inspector, who happens to have an obvious facial deformity, as well as a heightened sense of smell which allows her to detect how people feel (shame, rage, fear, etc.) One day she is able to sense something on a guy, and it turns out he was hiding a memory card containing child pornography. The police are amazed at her abilities, and ask her to assist in the investigation as to who made the pornography. Meanwhile in a parallel story, one day a guy passes through Customs, and he happens to have a very same facial structure... At this point we are less than 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from up-and-coming Iranian-Swedish writer/director Ali Abassi. Here he brings a tale to the big screen that without a doubt is the one of the most original and fantastical movies of the year, period, and I see more than 150 movies per year. Given the plot-heavy nature of the movie, I can't say a whole lot more, so you'll just have to take my word for it. And even simply describing the plot would never equate to the actual movie experience. The comparison is unfair, but I can't help but think back to another Swedish movie from now already 10 years ago that also surprised us out of nowhere: "Let the Right One In". The comparison is unfair because that is a horror film, and "Border" certainly is not that. But it's the originality that strikes me as the common character in both. Beware: there are some scenes in "Border" that some people will find absolutely disturbing, if not worse. No, this movie is not for the faint-hearted, that's for sure. Major kudos to Eva Molander in the role of Tina, under heavy make so that she's basically unrecognizable, but what a performance, oh my!
"Border" premiered at this yer's Cannes film festival, to universal acclaim. Sweden has also submitted this as its official entry for the 2019 Best Foreign Language Movie nominations. The movie opened out of the blue at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and the Thursday early evening screening where I saw this at was not attended well (5 people, including myself). As it turns out, Thursday was the last day of its limited 1 week run. I can's see this playing long in theater, and I'm also quite certain that Hollywood will not end up remaking it (as it did with "Let the Right One In"), for that "Border is just too "out there". But don't let that deter you from checking it out, be it in the theater (not very likely), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion. For me, "Border" is a WINNER.
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