White People

Published

Get lost, son, we call the shots here...

In Norway, a racist loser discovers that he can milk money from the state by renting out his family's godforsaken ski centre as a refugee camp. In a West African state, an aid organisation is working to send orphans to French adoptive parents. They are so keen, that they don't care too much whether they really are orphans or not. In Portugal, hunger is making unemployed people desperate, and at the Mexican border to America, a redneck is shooting everyone who tries to escape into God's own country.

Today's ailing humanism has not gone by unnoticed among the world's filmmakers, but it isn't the pointing fingers of social realism that dominate this series. The films in White People describe how those, who have, treat those who have far less. And how we in the West are hell-bent on using ourselves as role models for how others should behave. But they do so  from China to Tijuana  in highly different stories and with a wide range of film genres.

Jonás Cuaron's 'Desierto', for example, is a thriller with a Western setting, where Mexicans are done away with one by one, like in the story of the Ten Little Indians. It's as dry as the desert air, and shamelessly entertaining, which is an intended provocation: one man's death is another man's gain.

'Soy Nero' also begins with a Mexican who illegally crosses the border, but this is an indignant drama directed at Americas controversial Green Card Soldier system. From their respective standpoints, both films take a swipe at the presidential candidate Trump, who last year proclaimed: I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.

In the Swedish 'The White People' we are supposedly over in the science fiction genre, when we in an ice-cold winter landscape are led down into an underground human laboratory. It turns out to be a deportation centre for people without a residence permit. If only it were an Orwellian dystopia.

In the Chinese Old Stone, hard-core social realism becomes a dark and gloomy noir thriller when the only man in town with his morals intact is forced into a messy situation by a deeply corrupt and completely unfair society. Back in Sweden, The Garbage Helicopter makes fun of bigoted Swedes, and up in Norway we are allowed to exhale and break into a smile. Welcome to Norway is a clever comedy, where even our xenophobic little friend at the ski centre learns that you can become a better person by meeting people rather than by walling them out.