IFFR Review: Gritt

Art is highly responsive to events in the wider world. In many ways, it acts as a reflection and critique of the socio-political state of the environment in which it is created. Artists use the only weapon they have, their art, as a means of protest. This spans the spectrum of the discipline from painting to filmmaking to theatre. However, one criticism often levelled at, usually educated white creatives, is that they often exploit or benefit from their less privileged subjects. This is the quandary in Gritt.

Gritt (Birgitte Larsen) is determined to leave her mark on the world. She’s a woman with big ideas. So big in fact she struggles to verbalise what ‘The White Inflammation’, her proposed theatre production, will actually be about. After working as ‘undercover’ support for Marte (Marte Wexelsen Goksøyr), an actor and director Gritt secretly believes only gets work because of her condition, she starts working with a group of refugees. However, like everything else in her life, this seems destined to fail.

Gritt is an abstruse and challenging character study which tackles a myriad of themes and social issues in a rather abstract way. Director Itonje Søimer Guttormsen addresses topics such as saviour complex, mental illness and loneliness through the almost manic-depressive heroine; who is wonderfully realised by Larsen.  Gritt is, at times, difficult to watch, but persistence is rewarded through her slow and unusual transformation.

Gritt screens at International Film Festival Rotterdam.

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