Down The River
The movie poster for Nedströms
|Directed by||Anwar Mustafa Adil|
|Written by||Anwar Mustafa Adil, Bridget Hermansson, & Åke Winblad|
|Screenplay by||Åke Winblad|
|Story by||Anwar Mustafa Adil, Sally Jacobsson, Séamus McDermott, & Odert Löfgren|
|Based on||life story of Anwar Mustafa Adil|
|Produced by||Björn Lindblom|
|Edited by||Nora O'Mulrian|
|Music by||Íon Mac Ailin|
|24 October 2022 (Montecara Film Fest); 4 November 2022 (International Release)|
|Language||Blostlandic Ghaillish Tsabari Rahelian|
Down The River (Blostlandic: Nedströms) (Ghaillish: Síos an Abhainn) (Tsarbari Rahelian: ‘Asfal Alnahr) is a 2022 Psychological drama filmed throughout late 2021 and early 2022. Directed by Anwar Mustafa Adil, produced by Björn Lindblom, and written by Anwar Mustafa Adil & Bridget Hermansson; the film is a fictional story following the struggle of a Tsabaran immigrant who has immigrated to Blostland fleeing the Tsabaran Civil War. Using inspiration from his own life Adil depicts a harsh yet hopeful reality that reflects the struggle of immigrant populations in western countries transferring out of a state of isolationism and xenophobia. The film would be funded by the Blostlandic government and subsequently would be used as Blostlands film for the 83rd Montecara Film Festival. The film has generated controversy around the country for its representation of racism, sexism, and minority communities; along with the music production being by Íon Mac Ailin who is a trans man. Various conservative organizations have called the film “Vallmo Propaganda” and highly unrealistic, because of this a conservative boycott of the film has been announced by leaders of the National Liberal Party (Blostland) though many film critics believe it will not hurt the profits of the film.
Following the life of the 28 year old Aadab Baqa; the movie begins with him as a young boy in his home village in Tsabara. His father; who is never named, teaches him how to swim in the river near by their home; the movie later on uses this moment as a major allegory for the chaotic nature of life. As the film continues we watch as Baqa grows older and begins to realize the situation him and father are in because of the Tsabaran Civil War, Baqa expresses confusion at the chaotic nature of it all; his father would explain it like a wild river that no one can see the end of. By 18 Baqa is working hard as a concrete pourer to get money for his father whom he dreams of moving far away with. At 28 Baqa would finally managed to make enough to leave Tsabara though by this point his father would be ill; not long after visiting him he would pass; Baqa left with no one would pack his things and leave the country for Blostland; he'd mentally comment that he was entering the rapids as he came aboard the boat that took him.
Finally in Blostland; Baqa would be overwhelmed by the cultural and societal differences, the film would present it with almost childlike wonder as Baqa explores the capital of Raudrena in an enjoyable montage following its great river throughout his journey. This sequence would end abruptly when Baqa is confronted by a group of right wing gangsters; he is beaten and robbed before being threatened with death by their leader Håkan Norberg, played by Mats Grönblom. The next few days in the film would be portrayed in a stark contrast to when he first arrived in Raudrena; the river would be wild and rain would be pouring; Baqa would live in a homeless shelter consumed by self doubt, fear, and sadness. It was only after meeting a volunteer at the shelter; a man named Carl Mac Thomáis played by Niklas Ahlund that Baqa would find himself out from his current situation.
Carl would introduce Baqa to a community of fellow Tasbarans; explaining to Baqa in a bar there that community is one of the most powerful things that exists, something able to give someone purpose in the chaos of life. Baqa would aquire work in the Tasbaran quarter eventually moving in and becoming a member of the community, in this part of the movie the river would be still potentially reflecting Baqa finally settling down.
Baqa, now starting to get his bearings in Blostland; would meet a fellow Tsabaran immigrant named Salwa Riad Sufyan; played by Sylvia Talat Karim, Baqa would immediately try and befriend the beautiful Sufyan; not knowing any women closely since he left Tsabara. Sufyan would be apprehensive at first but would warm up to to Baqa the would portray their time together similarly to the time Baqa first landed in Blostland. As they get to know each other the Sufyan would explain her feelings of isolation while living in Blostland and even amongst the Tsabaran immigrants; she would tell Baqa that she planned on leaving the country back to her home in Tsabara in three weeks.
Over these three weeks Baqa would take on the personal mission of improving himself to hopefully convince Sufyan to stay in Blostland, the movie would now focus on Baqa over these three weeks as he managed to get a small apartment, a job as a writer, and more friends in the community all the while visiting and helping Sufyan. By the end of the three weeks Baqa would be preparing to confront her with all he had accomplished when his friends would tell him that Sufyan had already left their block, Sufyan attempting to isolate herself once again after getting so close to Baqa would be at the airport waiting for her plane; rain pouring down Baqa would run through the rough weather in his suit holding his work brief case (the scene used for the poster) running along side the river it would be still other than the rain beating against it.
Finally after making it to the airport Baqa would confront Sufyan and the two have a heated argument over living in a place so unlike their home, in the end Baqa would convince Sufyan to take another chance and stay in Blostland with him and all their friends; working against all the isolation and haltered together. Sufyan would kiss Baqa in the rain; leaving the airport the film would end.
Certain scenes such as the rain kiss would be a direct homage to vintage Euclean love films something that the director and cinematographer would comment as being a "subversion" of older films with a minority cast.
Hatim Lutfi Nayif as “Aadab Baqa” • Niklas Ahlund as “Carl Mac Thomáis" • Mats Grönblom as “Håkan Norberg" • Sylvia Talat Karim as “Salwa Riad Sufyan"