A couple days ago, I posted a review of With Your Permission, a Danish film that takes on the subject of spousal abuse in a decidedly unconventional (and humorous) way. Next up is an entry from the "boy, those film fests can sure be a downer" category, a film out of Sweden called To Love Someone, written by Kim Fupz Aakeson, who wrote 2006 fest fave En Soap, as well as a couple of the Dogme95 films (#32 and #34), and directed by Ake Sandgren, who directed Dogme #18. While To Love Someone isn't officially a "Dogme95" film, but it does focus intently on the story and the actor's performances (how many of the other Dogme95 "Vow of Chastity" rules it follows, I can't say offhand).
To Love Someone also tackles the subject of abuse, but we know right from the start that this is not going to be a light take on the subject. The film's opening shot takes us to a memorial park, where a man tells the caretaker that the ashes of the woman he loved were placed there the day before. So we can pretty much figure out from the beginning that all is not going to end well with this story, but in this case, that doesn't make the journey any less interesting.
We're introduced to Lena (Sofia Ledarp) the woman, we presume, who will end up scattered in the memorial park by the end of the film, who is presently lying in a hospital bed battered and bruised. Her eyes are blackened and swollen nearly shut, her nose is battered, her lips cut and puffy, her head bandaged. She has been beaten to a pulp. Her friends surround her hospital bed, and assure her that the guy who did it is in the hands of the police, and that he will be going to jail this time. Then they take pictures of her with a Polaroid camera. When Lena asks what she's doing, her friends look at her soberly and tell her, when he gets out, and he comes crawling back to you on his knees begging forgiveness -- we will show you these pictures so you remember.