Festival Review: Yarden (2016)

The Yard

Adapted from Kristian Lundberg’s autobiographical novel, Måns Månsson’s Yarden is a parable of entitlement that turns welcomingly political.

Working Class Hero

by Mark Wilshin


CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Following in the vein of Roy Anderson, Bent Hamer and other Nordic absurdists, Måns Månsson’s Yarden casts a subversive eye over the fall of one man from middle-class grace. A poet and literary critic – who finds himself suddenly unemployed when he pans his own book, 11811 (Anders Mossling), as he soon becomes, eases himself out of the pressures and strains of modern life – kept at bay with a diving mask and an oxygen canister – and into the welcome constraints of working class life, taking on a job at a car yard usually reserved for immigrants. With a dramatic opening set to bombastic classical music, panoramic vistas of an enormous grey parking lot with human specks of fluorescent orange and the watery flashlights of night diving, Yarden reveals the surreal and strange moments of everyday living. It’s occasionally forced – with a soundtrack that includes somewhat incongruously Demis Roussos’ Forever And Ever – and always played for laughs, but its story of a dreaming loser flailing in the real world comes sharply into focus as Yarden metamorphoses into a treatise on immigration and a reluctant white supremacy of backstabbing and lies. Cringeingly funny and frustratingly simple, Yarden is a surreally strange song of middle class blues.


Yarden is now showing at the 66th Berlin Film Festival

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