TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘Resin’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Film Festivals, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF 2019 by - September 05, 2019
TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘Resin’

Director Daniel Borgman’s Resin (Harpiks in the original Danish) is not an easy film to watch. While it treats death in a strangely naturalistic and historic way, there are certain fairly graphic sequences that many will find extremely disturbing and upsetting. 

Jens (Peter Plauborg) lives as a hermit with his infirm wife Maria (Sofie Gråbøl) and inquisitive yet almost feral daughter Liv (Vivelill Søgaard Holm) in the backwoods. For reasons that I won’t go into here, he demands that Liv never go into town, telling her that the people there only mean her harm. 

What follows are occasionally sweet, and occasionally disturbing family moments, as well as a descent into paranoia and violence. 

While the film’s protagonist is clearly Liv, Plauborg’s performance as Jens is the standout. His paranoia and anger are palpable, but when he portrays grief, he grunts and howls like an animal under a full moon, and it is absolutely gutting. 

The movie’s story involves a father teaching his daughter about nature and spirituality, and there are moments that indeed look like a nature documentary, utilizing extreme close-up macro photography and time-lapse shots to portray both the beauty, and the destructive nature of life. 

Further, the film appears to be shot on actual film stock (though it could be an effect applied in post production), giving it a rough, grainy quality that reflects the uneven and jagged essence of this nuclear family. 

Resin is a challenging yet powerful story, but certainly not for the faint of heart.

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