True to A Human Position’s slow nature, this Norwegian film reveals itself days after taking root. The stillness of its cinematography – the camera never moves – reflects the sleepy seaside town of Ålesund, where Asta is a young journalist living with her girlfriend Live, who spends her time repairing chairs and writing playful songs. After reading about Aslan, an asylum seeker who has been removed from the country, Asta begins to shake off a listlessness that has come over her, driven to do Aslan’s story justice.

Beautifully framed shots highlight Asta’s isolation, walking to work with no one around or pensively staring into space. Yet the film’s gentle motion is towards healing, even if we don’t fully know what from. Like the lovable cat that shares her apartment, Asta is relearning her personal boundaries, with Live’s compassionate encouragement both understanding and patient.

That’s a formula that works for A Human Position too. With patience, the central relationship develops almost without note. Even when paying close attention, someone moving away from one thing and towards another can be imperceptible. At one point, Asta watches paint dry, a playful nod to the film’s pace – but it is far from boring. Alongside this, Asta conducts muted but helpful interviews helping her piece together a cultural interpretation of Aslan’s situation. Her face rarely gives much away, but somewhere along the way she begins to feel part of the world again.

Just like that, A Human Position blossoms too. Whether it’s the stunning camerawork or Asta and Live’s delicate dynamic or a pensiveness inherent to slow cinema, the film lingers long in the mind.

There is much grace in A Human Position, a film that could steady heart-rates while quietly making them swell. Allow it to unfold like a dream and it will take shape into something memorable.



CAST: Amalie Ibsen Jensen, Maria Agwumaro

DIRECTOR: Anders Emblem

WRITERS: Anders Emblem

SYNOPSIS: Asta is a young journalist working for the local newspaper, where she is expected to report on local sports, historic preservation, and cruise ships. It is only when she stumbles across the strange story of a refugee’s forced deportation that she finds new meaning in her work and life.