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Ett anständigt liv (A Decent Life)

Posted by martinteller on December 15, 2012

In this follow-up to They Call Us Misfits, Stefan Jarl catches up with Kanta and Stoffe after 11 years.  The two no longer hang out, though they do get together briefly and go bowling.  Each has a girlfriend and a son to deal with, but their lives are quite different.  Kanta’s life appears somewhat stable, except for the fact that his mother has been arrested for killing her abusive boyfriend.  Stoffe is struggling with a heroin addiction.

Again, I had a hard time getting into this.  I almost bailed after 15 minutes but decided to stick with it.  It is slightly more interesting than the previous installment, largely focusing on the drug culture as it follows Stoffe and several other junkies.  There are a couple of harrowing stories and sad images.  Jarl once again gets an impressive level of access, including being allowed to film a burglary.  One of the most compelling scenes is the reunion of Kanta and Stoffe (which, like a couple of other things in the movie, feels like it might have been influenced a bit by the filmmakers), as Kanta confronts his old friend about his addiction.

But I really wanted to know more about Kanta.  It isn’t at all clear what he’s doing with his life.  Does he have a job or is he living on government assistance, or what?  At one point I wondered if it was being revealed that he’s working as a lumberjack, or if he was just chopping wood for himself.  He doesn’t really do much in the film.

Jarl injects this entry with a bit more style than the first film — using edits to juxtapose the street life with the upper class, inserting literary quotes.  It makes for a marginally more compelling viewing than its predecessor, but ultimately I didn’t latch on to the substance of the film that much.  I will not be viewing the third of the trilogy.  Rating: Good (70)


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