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“I clearly have a fondness for tragic stories. Those things touch me. It’s beautiful and naive to fight things you can’t defeat.”

Nordic Competition / Göteborg Film Festival 2015

Travelling with a Dead Man It is necessary to get close to death to learn to truly live? Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm asks that question in his lyrical first feature In Your Arms, about a woman accompanying a man on his final journey. 44

By Marianne Lentz Maria, 35, is in a rut in her life. Apart from work – she is a nurse in a nursing home – she rarely goes out. For dinner she eats cornf lakes out of the box, while watching her cat, simply named “Cat,” eat its pellets. The one person she seems to have any close contact with is Niels, a patient at the nursing home. Niels is a young man who is paralyzed from the waist down and his neural disorder is slowly eating away at the rest of his body. He has asked his family not to visit anymore, and he drives his caregivers crazy with his acerbic comments and his loud music. Maria and Niels have a special connection. She is the only one who can see behind his sarcastic comments and he even warms up a little bit in her presence. When he acts like an idiot, she just laughs and watches the corners of his mouth turn down. None of that changes the fact that Niels wants to die. His last wish is to go to Switzerland where he can legally commit assisted suicide. When his family declines to accompany him there – his mother can’t bring herself to do it – Maria is his only chance. Though she is against the purpose of his trip, she agrees to go with him. So begins a journey that brings the two of them closer to each other and to life – and death. Road Movie and Chamber Play When Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm saw Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man years ago, the film’s opening quote, by Henry Michaux, lodged in the French-born director’s mind: “It’s preferable not to travel with a dead man.” FILM | Berlin Issue 2015

Danish Films Berlin 2015  
Danish Films Berlin 2015  

Danish Film Institute's magazine with interviews and all the basics on Danish films at Berlin 2015