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Sunday, 4 January 2009

Borge Ring "Run of the Mill"



Run of the Mill should be compulsory viewing in all schools. The Oscar winning Borge Ring directed and was co-writer with Joanika Ring. Made in 1999, it is the story of a young boy seemingly cocooned in a loving family who nevertheless becomes prey to a drug-dealer. I have read that it is a little heavy handed in the treatment of a drug problem but it sustained my interest throughout; ever the optimist I anticipated that the two parents would pull the boy back from the self-constructed bubble that envelops him, and that sustained love and attention would win the day. In fact the movie begins in a halcyon setting as young girl and boy cycle together in the countryside; fast forward a little and the two grow up and raise their own child. The image of the mill, personified as in the best of Disney, the opening moments as the children career about on their toy ponies, the sun beaming down its bounty on the young family, the bespectacled schoolhouse, the idyllic family home: everything conspiring like Keats' autumn to bless the family. The change is signalled in a striking use of metaphor as a fluttering, friendly tweetie bird is devoured by a hawk released from its hood by its master, only for the raptor the next time to be a flying drug dealer who takes into his "talons" the young boy. The restricted palette of greens and browns gives a clue to the harshness of the message despite the bewildered, stoic and continuing love of the parents. Former musician Borge played and composed the music that does so much to hint at and evade an innocent childhood. The photograph below is taken from a series posted by Danish film director Jørgen Vestergaard who made a documentary about the great man acouple of years ago. Borge is approaching his 88th birthday, still very active and alert - as a series of emails has made very obvious to me. As with Anna and Bella, covered in an earlier article here, the video has been posted by Borge's daughter, Anne-Mieke.

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