After taking home the Dragon Award-for Best Nordic Short Film in Göteborg and an international premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Elin Övergaard’s latest release is coming to Kosovo. Who Talks (2019) is a film about hysteria. A small town in Sweden is collectively losing their minds at the prospect of accommodating unaccompanied, underage refugees. The film’s climax is reached at a city council meeting, drawn from Övergaard’s experience of a similar spectacle, as a municipality representative addresses a chorus of dissidents who convulsively honk like a gaggle of geese. Teaming up with Manne Indahl to write the script, they transcribed online recordings of similar meetings and their actors repeat what Swedes have said in reality. This is a safe approach to screenwriting, as it doesn’t reproduce racism without cause.
Fans of Shakespearian comedy may be reminded of this quote from Measure for Measure:
But man, proud man,
Dress’d in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d—
In the context of the play, Angelo is temporarily Vienna’s chief executive and has taken it upon himself to reform the criminal justice system. He ruthlessly enforces laws which had been ignored for years. Claudio is sentenced to death for impregnating his fiancée before they were married, and the above is spoken by his sister Isabella as she pleads for his life. The relevance to Övergaard’s dissidents is that they are most ignorant of what they’re most assured, which in this instance, is safety. A recurring quack from the chorus is the fear that accommodating refugee’s will jeopardize their security, as if it was their community that was under siege and not that which is native to the refugee. They are ignorant to the fact that they embody the biggest threat to a cohesive and secure municipality.
08 Aug, 20:00, DokuKino Plato
09 Aug, 12:00, Shtëpia e Kulturës