When we talk about drug epidemics, we often think about the one recently ravaging our local streets. We often neglect its international ramifications. This crisis also hit Iceland hard and has been doing so for decades. Baldvin Zophoniasson, with his co-writer Birgir Orn Steinarsson explores the crisis and its victims.
Their film Let Me Fall has two protagonists. Magnea (Elin Sif Halldorsdottir) is a young gymnast who starts going to parties and taking drugs at fifteen. She mostly gets these drugs from Stella (Eyrun Bjork Jakobsdottir), who is older and is bad news. The film mostly covers their tragic misadventures.
The film doesn’t always show a past with Magnea and Stella evading parental guidance. It occasionally jumps forward into present day. Magnea (Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir) is no longer beautiful and is in and out of jail. Stella (Lara Johanna Jonsdottir) has her life together, wearing many hats, doing motivational speeches.
A lot of this is reminiscent of what would happen if Alice in Go Ask Alice survived. The film’s prologue event hints on a dedication and that it’s based on true events. Its structure doesn’t always help neither, since the way it jumps from its two timelines feels somewhat gimmicky.
Nonetheless, what saves it is the way the other characters treat the older Magnea despite her relapses into addictive behavior. Her family still invites her to Christmas dinner even if she’s obviously using under their roof. It asks the audience the question of what would they do in such situations.