I love how the world of film is finally starting (baby steps) to catch up to the world. What I mean is that we are getting a more expanded viewpoint. It is not longer just middle aged white guys. We are getting more women, gays, ethnic, and even those with disabilities on screens or in films.
Swedish director Jimmy Olsson’s latest is Alive and centers around a woman who is in a wheelchair and suffers from brain damage. Frustrated with her situation, Victoria (Eva Johansson – Stranger Road, Juni) wants to date. After voicing this to her caregiver, who has a boyfriend, Ida (Madeleine Martin – Breaking Surface, Pink Cloud Syndrome) decides to make a Tinder profile for Victoria.
The result of this is not what either Victoria or Ida thought. Some things are frightening while others are just unpredictable. When Victoria does match up with a guy, Ida becomes worried about what will happen when they actually meet as he seems rather of a dubious nature.
A short film in duration of over 23 minutes, intimacy is the name of the game here. Sometimes us able bodied people are jerks. We don’t think of others and their lives. Besides the mobility prejudice we also acknowledge that they are sexual creatures. Just because you are in a wheelchair doesn’t mean your sex drive goes away.
Olsson is a director, who over his career, seems interested in tackling social issues head on. What goes on here is all about perception versus reality. How we jump to conclusions about people. Especially disabled people, who we seem afraid to ask questions to. We just default to judging them. Awful! This film goes a long way to fighting that.
The entire 20-odd minutes is about tone. Which totally prompts you to think about how society treats those with disabilities. How we do not treat them well. Treat them as outsiders, afterthoughts and even drains on society. Hopefully a film like this will cause some changes in all of us.