Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Icelandic writer-director Ragnar Bragason's dark, brooding ensemble drama Born (AKA Children) follows the entangled lives of a group of lower-rung citizens of Reykjavik as they struggle to just barely keep their heads above water, but all too often succeed in spiritually drowning, through a constant stream of poor decisions. Ultra-stylized, and shot in black-and-white, the picture opens on Gardar (Gisli Orn Gardarsson), a mob runner who attempts to turn his life around by locating and re-forging bonds with his estranged adolescent son Gudmund (Andri Snaer Helgason). The boy lives with his mother, Karitas (Nina Dogg Filippusdottir). A divorced hospital worker, battling for custody of the girls with her estranged husband, she tries to turn a buck by pilfering and illegally selling prescription drugs from the medical facility where she works. Gudmund's only close friend in the world is the schizophrenic thirtysomething Marino (Olafur Darri Olafsson) who has a flat in the same apartment block as he does. Marino learns - unhappily - that his mom is dating a stranger, and thus sinks ever deeper into his condition. Meanwhile, when Gardar turns up, looking for Gudmund, Marino instantly dislikes and distrusts him - but Karitas waxes even more vitriolic. The hostility builds - on all fronts - when Gardar and Gudmund start regularly slipping off and spending time together without telling anyone. Born marked Bragasson's debut feature.
bully, custody-battle, ex-husband, schizophrenia, single-parent, son, twins, underworld