Sick of Myself slowly creeps up on you like a rash over skin. Kristoffer Borgli’s black comedy is a compelling and original satire that works to deconstruct egotism, the evaporation of empathy and our desperation for attention. The story centres around Signe (Kristine Kujath Thorp), a young Norwegian woman locked in a competitive and toxic relationship with her boyfriend Thomas (Eirik Sæther). As he begins to break out as a contemporary artist, she tries to compete with him by willfully inflicting a detrimental skin condition upon herself to bask in the sympathy, attention and opportunities that await. 

The narrative of Sick of Myself sounds outlandish: a horrifying skin condition deliberately brought upon oneself to sabotage others, but it works well, teetering towards the unrealistic but keeping a healthy distance from being too preposterous. A well-balanced oscillation that inflates the ridicule of contemporary flaws, yet remains grounded and believable. Kristine Kujath Thorp’s brilliant black comedy performance renders Signe as a woman who will truly do whatever it takes.  

This film makes the rare choice of painting most, if not all, of the characters in an overtly negative light. They are rude, self-interested, attention seeking and out of touch. They are repellent, yet skillfully work to portray the lack of empathy present in contemporary society. Some of the scenes are masterful in displaying self-centred ridicule: as Signe has an “allergic reaction”, the waiter anxiously asserts his own innocence, and when she complains about the “bad timing” of a family shooting news story that obscured her own spotlight. As the protagonist, Signe proves to be a remarkably unreliable narrator. Scenes that appear to be reality slowly progress until they are revealed as her dreams: as an overnight viral sensation, a bestselling author, or a top model. It is this original choice and efficient narrative weaving that keeps the audience on their toes, scrutinising and dissecting the scenes for seeds of truth or deception. 


Sick of Myself follows in the footsteps of Borgli’s debut DRIB (2017), a docufiction that satirises advertising and contemporary greed, through examining our lack of empathy for others. The film wavers around commenting on the superficiality of influencer and model culture in addition, but isn’t decisive enough to commit to the attack. The same goes with toxic relationships. Signe and Thomas’ rapport is visibly acrimonious, but the film only probes it superficially, with no rationalisation for their detrimental competitiveness. They are seemingly just bad people, this film states, painting a dire portrait of a society centred around the self. The satirical bite that the film strives to achieve only reaches its apex in a couple of scenes, but when it eventually does hit the mark, it is painfully acerbic. 

Sick of Myself is sharp and consistently surprising, a unique take on the rifts and flaws in Oslo's privileged milieu. Benjamin Loeb’s bright and clear cinematography renders the film refreshingly shot. A cool and quietly adept film, it is worth a watch at the Dublin International Film Festival. 

Eleanor Moseley