When we die, there are a lot of practicalities that need to be taken care of before our time among the living is finally over. To prepare us for the inevitable, Carl Olsson offers a factual overview of the typical steps in Sweden's contemporary funerary industry. Every ritual conceals a set of routine procedures, and this is what this anti-spectacular documentary foregrounds.
Olsson takes us through a whole range of locations and the entire staff of people that guides us to our final destination. He does this with straightforward, fixed camera positions and calm, for the most part symmetrical compositions. The soundtrack is equally balanced. Mundane sounds like the weather forecast on the radio or banal conversations among colleagues punctuate the silence. Soft pizzicato music upholds the dignified atmosphere, without succumbing to pathos of any kind. Olsson emphasizes the strangeness of all these actions, yet also creates compassion and empathy for the people who carry them out.
Sweden, Denmark, Estonia /2020
Mathias Døcker Petersen, Jonathan Guldberg Elsborg
Caroline Drab, Anne Köhncke / De Andra Film AB, Final Cut for Real, Allfilm
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