Thursday, August 09, 2018

And Breathe Normally

Social commentary through drama is the sort of film we expect from Ken Loach. But And Breathe Normally is by Ísold Uggadóttir and therefore set in Iceland, which probably looks pretty bleak for much of the year and where buildings and other trappings of human life tend to look out of place.

Lara is trying to improve her life. A life which comes with baggage, including tattoos, debts, people she is trying to avoid, a flat she can't afford and a 4 or 5 year old son. She is just starting a job as border guard at Keflavík International Airport. Anxious to impress on the first day on passport control, she notices an imperfection in a French passport of a woman heading for Canada. The woman, Adja from Guinea-Bissau, is also a solo mother with a daughter in Canada and completely out of her comfort zone in Iceland. She is sent to a prison, and then to a downtown boarding house for people awaiting asylum decisions or deportation. Meanwhile, Lara has a major crisis of her own, which leads her to cross paths with Adja again.

Some suspension of belief is required here and there in order to take the plot seriously and to engineer the ending that Ísold Uggadóttir is aiming for, but And Breathe Normally is none-the-worse for that.

And Breathe Normally champions the cause of those on the fringes of society and those who feel they have to break rules when those rules are designed for the benefit of others. There is also a sly, casual promotion of the sisterhood and a super cute kid.

Ian's rating 3.5/5 Anne's rating 3.5/5

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