High Definition. 19 minutes.
Actors: Raymond Ingar Berge, Ayan Ali Omar, Håvard Selnes, Robert Myhrer
Director of Photography: Cecilie Semec
First assistant camera: Robin Hansen-Jørgensen
Director Assistant: Ole Christian Ellestad
Commissioned by Helga-Marie Nordby and Bassam Al Buruni as a part of the exhibition Trapped in Amber: Angst for a Reenacted Decade. Oslo, 2009
In the short film Zero (2008), Bodil Furu developed a visual expression of existential dilemmas and sentiments of emptiness and loss of meaning in modern living. We follow a white Norwegian man in his thirties – through a variety of scenes during an ordinary day in his ordinary life. He is a journalist and we first meet him on his way to Oslo Airport for an interview with a pilot about the challenging Norwegian topography. At the airport he bumps into an acquaintance who is returning to her homeland Somalia. She asks him the decisive question: “What do you know about living in this country?”. Next, we observe him walking in the forest and later in the evening he is on the phone with his girlfriend who at the moment is in China, talking about how their lives and works can make a difference, if at all, in the world. The last scene capture the lonely man in his appartement, restlessly walking between the piano and the TV set, then entering the balcony, staring at the pulsating city of Oslo, with its railway station, the gentrification in the nearby harbour area, highways and city lights.
The low intensity narrative and the sites from where it is filmed, reveals a strong reference to Edvard Munch’s paintings, especially the iconic Scream (1893). Like the figure in Munch’s painting, Furu’s protagonist is trying to cope with the complexity of life in the midst of urban development and global capitalism. Fear of an uncertain future and frustration with the current political situation is everywhere and the film investigates various forms of sentiments of increasing chaos, as complex, environmental and social problems are facing us at an unprecedented scale. However, public perceptions of the world are often manipulated by the mass media, and it is not easy to distinguish between what is reality and what is our subjective interpretation of the facts. It is a strenuous task to negotiate with the globalised, heavily mediatized world, and at the same time preserve one’s integrity as an independent human being.