Norsk filminstitutt

In this philosophical and provocative modern tragedy directed by Ali Parandian, we meet five young women who live together in a collective in Oslo. 

During a week, we gain insight into how the women support and deal with life, and in coping with life's relational challenges and their encounters with a reluctant and at times non-accepting world. The women find it challenging to reconcile fully and completely with society's view of them. 

Through intimate portraits of the ensemble of characters, we get an insight into the diversity, nuances, and breadth of their perspectives and views. Through conversations, reflections, dreams, poetry, and choreography, we also gain an insight into their spiritual realm. A realm that transcends duality. It is in this personal spiritual space that we get to experience what visions and dreams the women carry for our common future. In the pursuit of deeper meaning and exploration of the subject matter, the film smoothly shifts in a pendulum between; naturalism, magical realism, post-reflective modus, memories, dreams, and contemporary dance. Expressed in a sensual, fleeting, tactile, and musical way – like a dream within a dream. Abstracted metaphysical pictures work in a relay to make a contrapuntal and immersive experience for the viewer. Nour played by Nedja Bouzaida has recently come in contact with her father who she can barely remember, during their initial voice mail exchanges she discovers that her ethnic Norwegian mother throughout her upbringing has lied to her about her father in a successful attempt to keep Nour from the father. This is in a petty attempt to emotionally harm the father by using his daughter. With the support of two of her flatmates, Nour decides to take the plunge and seek out and meet his father that also lives on the outskirts of central Oslo. But a turn of events makes their worlds fall apart and turn their entire existence around.  

In this philosophical and provocative modern tragedy directed by Ali Parandian, we meet five young women who live together in a collective in Oslo. During a week, we gain insight into how the women support and deal with life, and in coping with life's relational challenges and their encounters with a reluctant and at times non-accepting world. The women find it challenging to reconcile fully and completely with society's view of them. Through intimate portraits of the ensemble of characters, we get an insight into the diversity, the nuances, and the breadth of their perspectives and views. Through conversations, reflections, dreams, poetry, and choreography, we also gain an insight into their spiritual realm. A realm that transcends duality. It is in this personal spiritual space that we get to experience what visions and dreams the women carry for our common future. 

In the pursue of deeper meaning and exploration of the subject matter the film smoothly shifts in a pendulum between; naturalism, magical realism, post-reflective modus, memories, dreams, and contemporary dance. Expressed in a sensual, fleeting, tactile and musical way – like a dream within a dream. Abstracted metaphysical pictures work in a relay to make a contrapuntal and immersive experience for the viewer.

Nour played by Nedja Bouzaida has recently come in contact with her father who she can barely remember, during their initial voice mail exchanges she discovers that her ethnic Norwegian mother throughout her upbringing has lied to her about her father in a successful attempt to keep Nour from the father. This is in a petty attempt to emotionally harm the father by using his own daughter. With the support of two of her flatmates, Nour decides to take the plunge and seek out and meet his father that also lives in the outskirts of central Oslo. But a turn of events makes their worlds fall apart and turn their entire existence around.

On the way to Nour's father, Seraphine, Nour's best friend, feels unwell and falls over. They call 113 and call for help, but in the face of the emergency services, a life-threatening situation arises that leads to Seraphine's death.

The story and the course of events take place in early summer in Oslo. On the external level, the film is about five friends who live together in a collective. During a week we get to take part in their everyday life, we get to know the different characters and we get to take part in their ups and downs. Through dialogue, reflections and their behaviour, we see their views on themselves and the society they are part of. The film also contains a lot of humour, the friends have an entertaining and funny tone between them until their situation is suddenly turned upside down in the last part of the film, and the seriousness grows larger and larger with each passing second. What earlier in the film was seemingly entertaining and light-hearted suddenly takes on a different meaning and resonance seen in the context of the friends' meeting with the phone operator at the emergency medical centre and the police. The two remaining friends experience that their encounter with the emergency centre is burdened by quarrelsome opposition, provocative statements, and unwillingness to help. They react in different ways but with an escalating irritation and frustration that develops into destructive anger and impulsive threats to get help seems to rise. The communication between the medical emergency phone operator and the friends goes in an irreconcilable direction in parallel with the friends' desperation and fear of losing their friend's best friend. This results in the ambulance not being able to drive forward and help, which results in a young life being lost.

Apart from the physical loss of human life, there is also in the film's core loss of innocence; the lack of trust in society to keep their promise and help all citizens, regardless of their background. Questions are raised as to whether there is equality and justice for all, regardless of name, identity, and race. Our protagonists are Norwegian, they are well integrated, and function and work on the same level as all other ethnic white Norwegians. But they are met in an irreconcilable way that results in their friend's death.

Production and distribution

Production Year:
2023
Production country:
Norway
Release date (national):
2023-05-15
Production company:
Anicca Pictures
Financing company:
Norwegian Film Institute
Viken Filmsenter
Fond for lyd og bilde
Executive producer:
Ali Parandian
Producer:
Ali Parandian
Line producer:
Ali Parandian
Kim Fjeldberg
Film consultant:
Anne Gertrud Borggaard Sørensen
Tone Johnsen
Kalle Løchen

Director

  • Ali Parandian

    Ali Parandian (b. 1982) is currently living and working in Norway as a filmmaker, sound artist, composer, and teacher. In 2010 Parandian completed his BA-degree in sound design from The Norwegian National Filmschool, Lillehammer University College.   

    Ali Parandian

Cast

Nedja Bouzaida
Ayan Ahmed
Amira Morstaq Ali
Sophie Valerie Lefever
Mieri Joak
Ane Skumsvoll

Crew

Director:
Ali Parandian
Screenplay:
Ali Parandian
Cinematographer:
Runar Sørheim
Editor:
Emma Lagrelius
Ali Parandian
Anni Tiainen
ProductionDesigner:
Christina Berger Svedal
Set Decorator:
Christina Berger Svedal
Costume Designer:
Nova Mikkelsen Jøntvedt
Sound Design:
Ali Parandian
Makeup artist:
Nova Mikkelsen Jøntvedt
Sound Recording:
Miles Anderson Pedro Sapatilla
First assistant director:
Lars Thomas Skare
Casting:
Ali Parandian
Elias Peña Corral
Choreographer:
Ali Parandian
Still photographer:
Martin Fryklund

Technical information

Genre:
Drama
Format:
DCP 4k
Screen ratio:
1:2,39
Colour:
Colour
Sound format:
Dolby A
Length in min's:
120'
Language:
Norwegian
French
Subtitles:
English

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