photo: bordermovie.us/Neon 

We know Scandinavia as one of the freest societies today. However, this is not what the Swedish film "Border" tells us, which through the story of two mythological creatures - human trolls, touches on the topic of the other. The film comes out in 2018, is directed by Ali Abasi and is based on the story of the same name by Ivide Lindqvist from his collection "Let the old dreams die." Border has won numerous awards at prestigious film festivals and forums, including Cannes, and is also the Swedish Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Awards.

 

The story of the film moves from the private to the general, because it puts two trolls in its center as the main characters. These are creatures typical of Norse mythology, which are often hostile to humans and even feed on them. From here, however, the narrative makes the transition to a much broader topic, which is also unlimited by geographical boundaries. On the contrary, it is even determined by borders. This is the topic for the other.

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In human psychology it is set to perceive oneself as a subject, and other people, always as an object. This is expressed both at the level of the individual and at the level of the team. Individuals who define themselves as similar form communities and even gravitate around their collective self-consciousness. Such groups always treat as an object other groups that differ from them in a number of features. The other is always perceived as hostile, as threatening, because a person is constantly afraid of what is foreign to him. The question of the other, however, is twofold, as there is racism, so there is counter-racism, and the truth about man is determined by whose eyes you look at it.

 

Relying on the same principle of human nature, the plot of "Border" tells about the existence of Tina. She is a strange woman who lives outside the city, away from people and close to the forest. She was born more with animals than with humans, and she felt different all her life. She is the other. She's a troll woman, but she doesn't know it. She does not know her peers, she does not know that she belongs to a community of beings just like her. She sees herself only through the eyes of "normalcy", which has rejected her, insulted her, appointed her. She is considered a freak, a tumor in the fabric of society.

Tina works at a border checkpoint and there one day she meets another like her - the troll Vore. An immediate attraction is established between the two, and she slowly begins to discover that she is not the only one, that besides her and Vore, there is even a whole community of trolls living somewhere nearby. Vore no longer sees Tina as a freak, but, on the contrary, she is for him the measure of normalcy. He teaches her that they must assert their "sovereignty" of men, to appoint them to the other..

 

The two fall in love and thus the topic of gender is also affected. It has become painfully relevant in Europe recently with the establishment of the third sex in some countries and the so-called. gender neutrality, which is sometimes applied as an educational approach in kindergartens and schools in Scandinavia. Trolls are hermaphroditic creatures. According to secondary sexual characteristics, Tina is a woman and Vore is a man, but Tina has male genitals and Vore has a female. This reminds us that this duality, no matter how unnatural some condemn it, is in fact very typical in nature. There are many hermaphroditic species, and even in humans both sexes have stunted genital scars of the opposite sex. Vore can reproduce both sexually and asexually (as in bees, for example), and the offspring born of a fertilized egg is different from that born of an unfertilized egg.

photo: bordermovie.us/Neon 

Tina and Vore come across a case of pedophilia in a supposedly normal family and Tina, as a law enforcement officer, begins to cooperate in the investigation. This twist in the plot seems to ask what normalcy is. Is normalcy just a screen? Is it determined only by appearance, manners, manner of speaking, and in general those established orders, which, however, are often not a prelude to deeper values? Ugliness, says Vore, can very often be found in such a seemingly normal home, furnished with ordinary furniture.

 

This is where the denouement of the film comes from, the full unfolding of the word "border". While Tina tries to stop the kidnappers, it turns out that Vore is personally involved in the crime with pedophiles, and his motives are that he wants to harm the human race. This leads to a rupture in their relationship and to the establishment of a boundary not only between subject and object, but also between man and animal. And more precisely, crossing this border, because while Vore is still an animal, still a troll from folk tales, Tina is already a human being. She feels compassion for people, she wants to help them, she wants to integrate into civilization, using peaceful methods, because that's what individuals who have survived evolution do.

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