Alive is a short film written and directed by Jimmy Olsson. It focuses on the relationship between Victoria and her carer Ida. When Victoria is introduced to Ida’s boyfriend on a chance meeting, it has her thinking about her own life, and the lack of physical and emotional connection she has. The pair set up a tinder account for Victoria but Ida quickly starts to question if it was the right idea.
The film is wonderfully charming, with the lead performances being at the core. Neither go over the top, with Eva Johansson as Victoria particularly giving small nuances in her staggered speech and tiny changes within her facial expression that say more than most could. The relationship between the women is easily believable, and shows the complex issues that arise when you blur the line between carer and friend.
Olsson’s writing and direction are equally solid, yet gentle. There is no exploitation in this film, and whilst Victoria’s disability is a core aspect to the story, it is never part of her character, rather just another physical feature of who she is. The visuals equally support the soft and gentle nature of the film, and allow the relationship between these two women, and the desires of Victoria to be independent to take prime focus.
We rarely get to see disabled stories on screen, and when we do, they can either feel saccharine, exploitative or fake-praising. In Alive, Victoria is neither to be pitied or praised for her ‘bravery’. She is just another human being wanting to make a connection and feel alive.
The short film is currently being showcased in a series of festivals, if you have the chance, seek it out. It’s the perfect palette cleanser from so much else going on around us.