723. Run of the Mill – Borge Ring

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SUMMARY: A young boy’s idyllic existence with his loving family is destroyed by the influence of a drug dealer.

WHY IT’S HERE: A new film by Borge Ring is always a cause for celebration. Although Ring rarely directs, his style is instantly recognisable as that which won him an Oscar for the classic ‘Anna and Bella’ in the 80s. ‘Run of the Mill’ explores the themes of drug addiction using Ring’s distinctive cartoony by densely symbolist style. Unlike many heavy-handed anti-drug films which probably only pique young people’s interest in substance abuse through their stuffy authoritarianism, ‘Run of the Mill’ takes a different approach. ClichĂ©s such as the broken home, the rebellious teenager or the exaggerated descent into destitution are foregone in favour of a much more realistic slide into addiction and rather than portray it as merely damaging for the addict, Ring’s film very much focuses on the effect it has on those around them. The final image, of the relapses boy drifting carefree in a bubble while his loving parents sit atop it engulfed in black clouds is a powerful reminder that, while it may ultimately be our own choice what we do to our bodies, we are not the only ones who are affected by this choice. Sadly, Ring slightly overplays his hand at the very last minute with a hackneyed image of a broken hobby horse, the sort of crass symbolism that he so skilfully avoids throughout the rest of the film.

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