Burrowing

Directed by Henrik Hellström and Fredrik Wenzel
  • Sweden
  • 77 minutes
  • 2009


Taking inspiration from the writings of Henry David Thoreau, this debut feature from Henrik Hellström and Fredrik Wenzel seeks to explore ideas of self-reliance, solitude and contemplation. While the setting of a Swedish suburb may not immediately suggest an easy viewpoint from which to consider these concepts, by focusing separately on several local misfits the directors have created a moody meditation on the individual in contemporary society. The film progresses in a mosaic-like fashion, relying on ambience and suggestion rather than conventional narrative and character development. Small moments of drama, shot from a dispassionate point of view amidst intriguing, beautifully composed scenes, create a growing sympathy for the wayward protagonists.

Parallels have been drawn to Harmony Korine’s Gummo and Roy Andersson’s offbeat caricatures of Swedish culture. Both are valid reference points, but like the work of those beautiful losers who went before, Burrowing is truly unique.

Sarah Lutton, London International Film Festival

Sebastian Eklund, Jörgen Svensson, Hannes Sandahl