Border (Gräns)

Border (Gräns)


Sense something beautiful.

Supernatural elements and border security collide in this Swedish Cannes winner about an oddly talented officer attracted to a recent suspect. Based on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In.... More

"Customs officer Tina is known for her extraordinary sense of smell. It’s almost as if she can sniff out the guilt on anyone hiding something. But when Vore, a suspicious-looking man, walks past her, her abilities are challenged for the first time ever. Tina can sense Vore is hiding something she can’t identify. Even worse, she feels a strange attraction to him. As Tina develops a special bond with Vore and discovers his true identity, she also realizes the truth about herself. Tina, like Vore, does not belong to this world. Her entire existence has been one big lie and now she has to choose: keep living the lie or embrace Vore’s terrifying revelations." (Cannes Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

Tina, the heroine in Ali Abbasi’s Border, is not your typical leading lady. With a protruding brow, pronounced underbite, ruddy skin and a strange scar on her tail-bone, she’s not a conventional beauty; nor is she exactly social, more at ease amongst the animals in the woods that surround her house than with her colleagues or dog-obsessed boyfriend.... More

Fortunately, though, she’s got something going for her: a position as a border security officer at a busy port in a Swedish coastal city, in which she excels.

In fact, so good is Tina at her job, seemingly able to literally smell out offending passengers, that she has a more-or-less 100 per cent success rate at identifying passengers smuggling contraband into the country.

That is until the greasy, leering, pot-bellied Vore passes through, awakening Tina’s senses so strongly she goes so far as to order a strip search—bringing up nothing.

Of course, the fact that Vore physically resembles Tina like no one she’s ever seen before (right down to that tailbone scar) is no small part of her instant magnetic attraction to him—and might also help her discover the truth behind her appearance.

Adapted from the short story of the same name written by Let the Right One In author John Ajvide Lindqvist, Border too is a strange, surreal hybrid of horror, romance and folklore—only this time a Hollywood re-make seems like a rather less likely prospect.

Both totally beguiling and borderline sick-making at times, Border gets pretty gnarly in places. With stunning visual effects and some very unexpected moments, it is not for the squeamish—and, without giving too much away, features one of the most insane sex scenes you’ll see in modern cinema.

Too broad to really work allegorically (doesn’t everyone feel like a yuck outside sometimes?) and with maybe a bit too much grim realism, Border is nevertheless elevated by phenomenal performances from its prosthetic covered leads and incredible visual effects.  

Together with a compelling story and a willingness to really, shall we say, ‘go there’ Border is a rare, discomforting, and incredibly inventive film and the wildest love story you’ll see this year. Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

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Drama / Fairytale/ crime thriller... This film makes you feel as much as it makes you think. It is rare for a film to engage your sensors as much or as well as is on offer in Border. We watched it tonight at the Sold Out (boutique) session at The Academy. A joy to watch with an audience, and a completely absorbing tale that is best watched knowing as little as possible. Warning - It may make you want to jump on a plane to Scandanavia so that you too can literally soak in the scenery.

Featuring maggot-munching, fridge-babies, and an uncomfortably odd sex scene, Border is based on a short story by Let the Right One In author John Ajvide Lindqvist. A Swedish slow-burn adult fairy-tale, it’s a dark riff on ‘The Ugly Duckling’, powered by a superb central performance by Eva Melander as a customs officer who literally sniffs out smugglers. Director Ali Abbasi delivers a strange yet compelling tale, let down by a glacial pace that helps build characters, but hinders in terms... More of a “twist” those familiar with folklore will have guessed long before it’s revealed.Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • As a timely yarn about the mistreatment of minorities, both in Sweden and worldwide, Border is rich in allegorical layers. Full Review

  • Abbasi grounds the narrative in an emotional foundation even as it flies off the rails. Full Review

  • An exciting, intelligent mix of romance, Nordic noir, social realism, and supernatural horror that defies and subverts genre conventions. Full Review

  • It is mesmerising in its initial oddness and develops into a complex, richly satisfying piece of storytelling in which all the seemingly jagged, awkward edges eventually fit smoothly together. Full Review

  • The refreshingly offbeat, sturdily handled "Border" is not just unlikely to resemble any of its subtitled competition but also anything else you'll see this year. Full Review

  • As cold as possible is a good way to see it. This is a movie that aims to startle in overt and subtextual ways; the less known before viewing, the better. Full Review

  • A film filled with memorable imagery (and one or two that you really can't unsee), Border might not quite reach the heights of Let the Right One In, but it certainly leaves an impression. Full Review