IFFR Review: A Human Position


Most filmmakers look for a story with a hook. A narrative heft which will make it stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression. If there are twists and turns with breathtaking cliffhangers and high stakes, all the better. In reality, our lives are full of little things and if tragedy should strike, more often than not we respond with silent rage or stoic sorrow. Tacitly holding our grief and anger close to our chests. This is the case in A Human Position.

Asta (Amalie Ibsen Jensen) is a young woman living in a sleepy Norwegian port town. She has been through some kind of unspoken trauma and is just starting to get her life back together. She returns to work as a journalist, expected to cover local interest new stories. She drifts through her days, one routine interview after another or spending quiet time with her partner (Maria Agwumaro). Until the story a refugee’s forced deportation shakes her out of this reverie.

The power of A Human Position is in those small and quiet moments. As Asta slowly comes back to life, she begins to appreciate the world around her and the life she has. Writer/Director Anders Emblem’s film is a slow burn which gradually gathers pace. However, don’t expect fireworks at the end. This is not that kind of drama. A Human Position is a touchingly humane story which draws from the essence of life to produce something that, in the end, is surprisingly moving.

A Human Position screens at International Film Festival Rotterdam.

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