Director: Mark Cousins

Cast: Neneh Cherry

Sweden-UK 2016 | colour | 88min | Documentary | Drama

Avaliable on: DCP

Mark Cousins and Neneh Cherry team up for this superb ‘is it a doc, or is it fiction’ film. Cherry’s Alva is a character whose life mirrors some broad facts of her own (an artist with an African father and Swedish mother). She’s trapped under the steely grey skies of Stockholm, struggling with debilitating depression, the result (we soon learn) of a traumatic incident a year earlier. Due to give a lecture on the city’s architecture, she bunks off and takes us through the city, exploring buildings, bridges, a cinema, with each place revealing more about her life and state of mind. Taking in the immigrant experience, her relationship with her father, Stockholm’s recent history, we slowly work towards the tragedy, which is devastatingly revealed. Cousins, Cherry and cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love and Cousins’ own I Am Belfast) create a visceral, music and poetry-filled exploration of grief, but one that also examines the glorious moments when Alva emerges from that state.