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Border
(Gräns)

Ali Abbasi

Based on a short story by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist who also wrote Let The Right One In, this is a contemporary take on a folk tale which is unlike anything else you will see all year.

"Walking a fine line between love story and horror film..."

Tina (Eva Melander) has a bestial-looking face, a scar above her tailbone, and the ability to sense or smell how people feel. At the border crossing where she works, she is the best officer in the station. She is especially adept at detecting fear or unease, skills that make her an invaluable border guard. But her unique abilities come at a heavy price: Her appearance has left her bullied all throughout her life, and the only meaningful relationships she has are with her senile father and her boyfriend Roland, who trains dogs that instinctively hate her. Herlife changes on one fateful afternoon, when a man like her crosses the border. His name is Vore (Eero Milonoff), and it seems he knows a bit more about her origins than she does.

Not for the faint at heart, Abbasi manages to navigate graphic content in a way that never feels exploitative because at its core, this is a film about loneliness and how seductive a person can be when they claim to have all the answers to your questions. Tina’s lack of self-esteem and alienation feel relatable, and it’s a credit to Melander that she never loses sight of the humanity of her character underneath the prosthetics. Walking a fine line between love story and horror film, Border is a film that will certainly provoke debate, and is all the better for it.