Viktoria (Eva Johansson) has a disability. She uses a wheelchair; she has slowed speech and she has trouble using her hands. However, when Viktoria sees her carer, Ida (Madeleine Martin) with her boyfriend, Bjorn (Joel Odmann) she realises she would like to have the same kind of relationship that Ida has.
Thinking it will cheer her up, Ida spends some time with Viktoria, putting on her make up and setting up a Tinder profile, but not really thinking anything will come of it. However, when Viktoria says that somebody has responded to her profile and would like to meet her, Ida has her doubts.
Alive is a short film written and directed by Jimmy Olsson. Olsson’s short film does something that is not often talked about in cinema – it talks about disability and sex. This is for some reason an untouched or perhaps taboo subject to tackle, but Alive treats each of its characters like human beings and through the story, Olsson is able to show a human side to a disabled person. Which is again something that is not often talked about in cinema.
As Ida learns about Viktoria’s potential date, she gets worried. She judges the man solely on his picture (as often is the case on Tinder) and even suggests that Viktoria doesn’t let it happen in case the mystery man abuses her. However, this is when Viktoria asserts her rights not only as a disabled person but also as a human being, clearly reminding Ida that it’s her choice to make and that she is only her carer.
This brings up issues of ableism where no matter how close an able-bodied person may be to a disabled person, because of their physical disability there is a suggestion that they wouldn’t be able to make decisions because of their supposed vulnerable situation and their naivety and lack of experience. Alive shows the audience that despite Viktoria’s physical disability she’s still able to make decisions and have all the needs and wants of any other human being.
If I were to make any criticism, it’s that there doesn’t really seem to be any time given to any characterisation in the film. Alive seems to be solely about the message that it’s sending rather than creating a small group of characters that the audience enjoys watching.
However, as we’re now well into the 21st century and this subject is still so unique and unspoken, perhaps the message still needs to be sent.
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