Ali Abassi, raised in Iran and now a filmmaker in Denmark, has said that he’s drawn on his status as an outsider in both countries to make his second feature, Border, which has won this year’s Un Certain Regard Prize in Cannes. Adapted from a novella by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote Let the Right One In, Border is the fantastical tale of a Swedish border guard with a sense of smell so keen she can sniff out human emotions. Reviews have been consistently positive, with Stephen Dalton observing in the Hollywood Reporter that the film “blends supernatural folklore with contemporary social realism to create a universal parable about tribalism, racism, and fear of the Other.”
For more on Border, see David Acacia (International Cinephile Society), John Bleasdale (CineVue, 4/5), Mónica Delgado (desistfilm), Allan Hunter (Screen), Sophie Monks Kaufman (Sight & Sound), Tom Kiesecoms (ScreenAnarchy), Eric Kohn (IndieWire, B+), Fabien Lemercier (Cineuropa, where Jan Lumholdt interviews Abassi), Rory O’Connor (Film Stage, B+), Steve Pond (TheWrap), Barbara Scharres (RogerEbert.com), and Alissa Simon (Variety). Neon has already taken North American rights.