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Community Dream Life

Regissør: Joachim Trier

If everyone had realized their fantasies, the world would have fallen into a snap.


Most of us wish that fantasies could come true – at least when we were young. That girl you are in love with, or just right the material moisture meter shows you the the bike, standing on the stairs the next morning only you wish it strong enough. Or why not that he the bully in class, the one who always bothers you on the way home, goes up in smoke, just disappears? Or that mobile shop employees give you phones and other equipment for free?

It sounds alluring, but if everyone had realized their fantasies at all times, there would not have been much left of either the wishes or the world, or ourselves for that matter.

Indre vs. exterior. Joachim Triers Thelma enters this landscape, with an interesting twist. It can be reminiscent of both Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan (2010) and David Cronenberg The Brood (1979), but is different from both. It has more hope in itself.

The protagonist Thelma, a young lady with ultra-conservative Christianity in the genes, arrives in Oslo to study biology. She falls in love with another girl, while experiencing an increasing imbalance between fantasy and reality. Both love and hatred exert power in her that can change reality in unpredictable ways, including the fact that people she feels strongly about are lost.

These abilities to influence reality correspond to the Christian background, the burgeoning desire and the challenges of standing on one's own feet, as a young woman – without being completely familiar with the new role alone, separated from the parents, or the infatuation with which she is entangled. into.

Thus, it may not be so easy to know what young Thelma is really wants, or wants, because she has no complete control over who she is herself.

The individual and the community. Trier moves into the horror movie territory, but only partially. For more than anything else, Thelma is about finding out who you are and what you want with life – yes, growing up. Ripe. Find a balance between who she is and who others are: what she wants from the world and what the world demands of her. This is how it is for all of us – that our desires are immature if they do not take into account what andres wishes are. It is a fundamental connection between the community's ideas and the individual's fantasies. When the individual comes forward with thoughts about how things are connected, the accounts inevitably become unbalanced.

Thelma is mostly about finding out who you are and what you want with life – about growing up.

You do not have to be young to live out performances that bring the relationship between the individual and the community into imbalance. Just look at the confused man behind the terrorist attack in the government quarter and on Utøya. The cruelty that happened was an expression of a radical imbalance between what he wanted and what most others want.

The diversity of the community's imaginative life can lead to many strange things – for example, a divergent collective where everyone goes in different directions, wants different things and thus undermines the community's values, as we can see in the rise of right-wing populism in today's Europe. But it is always possible to find the common thread – but then we have to locate the balance between the inner and the outer. Between what we self will and that Secondly, want.

This common thread has the name «utopia». And the utopian impulse is the ability to rediscover the dreams the community shares.

Trier's strength is that he opens up for parallel interpretations rooted in an enormously strong photo that sticks to the details.

The details and the community. In this way, Thelma's double life – the inner and the outer – also intertwines into the community's network of dreams as the film develops. Does she not find some kind of balance in the end? This is open, but I tror the. The balance can be found in the details.

There are many ways to be Thelma, and it is Trier's strength that he opens up for parallel interpretations rooted in an enormously strong photo that sticks to the details. Because it is by immersing ourselves in all the details we get to grips with the big things. Not because we understand the whole as such through the parts, but because it is by immersing ourselves in what is different from us – that which expresses something we for is and something we for has wanted us – that we can find the recognition of differences between us and others. When we hold on to this, accept it and even stretch ourselves towards another, it becomes possible to take inward the existence of things, people and events as something we can not – nor should – control with our dreams in greater scale.

It is also here, in the details – in the back of a neck, a strand of hair on a pillow, a bird fluttering into a window, a snake winding over an old woman's wrinkled hand – that Thelma's dream life is eventually woven into the loom of diverse narratives that the community needs to function. This is where Thelma, and Joachim Trier, begin to dream – for all of us.

Kjetil Røed
Kjetil Røed
Freelance writer.

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