Giraffe review – an erotic tale of love, location and loyalty | The Guardian

Lisa Loven Kongsli’s historian has an affair with a construction worker razing community land in this cryptic, enigmatic dramaDanish film-maker Anna Sofie Hartmann has crafted this elegant, muted docu-fiction about our fragile sense of identity and place. It’s a movie whose subtle thoughts are in danger of being upstaged by a potent and erotic love story that surfaces and then disappears, leaving you uncertain whether finally to be more interested in that romance or the ruminations it has interrupted – or enlivened. Giraffe reminded me at various moments of WG Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn and the films of Valeska Grisebach, who appears in the final credits for “dramaturgical guidance”.Norwegian star Lisa Loven Kongsli plays Dara, who is working on an oral history project in the Danish island of Lolland, where a new road bridge connecting Denmark to Germany is being built. She is interviewing the owners of farms due to be demolished and making a record of an agrarian community that is on the point of being lost for ever. Then Dara meets and has an affair with Lucek (Jakub Gierszal), one of the Polish construction workers creating the concrete and asphalt that will be obliterating all this history. Hartmann leaves it up to us to notice the spiritual disloyalty involved in this sexual adventure; Dara herself does not ponder it. Continue reading…

Lisa Loven Kongsli’s historian has an affair with a construction worker razing community land in this cryptic, enigmatic drama

Danish film-maker Anna Sofie Hartmann has crafted this elegant, muted docu-fiction about our fragile sense of identity and place. It’s a movie whose subtle thoughts are in danger of being upstaged by a potent and erotic love story that surfaces and then disappears, leaving you uncertain whether finally to be more interested in that romance or the ruminations it has interrupted – or enlivened. Giraffe reminded me at various moments of WG Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn and the films of Valeska Grisebach, who appears in the final credits for “dramaturgical guidance”.

Norwegian star Lisa Loven Kongsli plays Dara, who is working on an oral history project in the Danish island of Lolland, where a new road bridge connecting Denmark to Germany is being built. She is interviewing the owners of farms due to be demolished and making a record of an agrarian community that is on the point of being lost for ever. Then Dara meets and has an affair with Lucek (Jakub Gierszal), one of the Polish construction workers creating the concrete and asphalt that will be obliterating all this history. Hartmann leaves it up to us to notice the spiritual disloyalty involved in this sexual adventure; Dara herself does not ponder it.

Continue reading…


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