And Breathe Normally
Lara is a single mom with money troubles whose life unexpectedly collides with that of a female refugee, in this intensely moving Icelandic drama, which won a World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Lara is struggling to stay sober and retain custody of her young son when a new job as a border security trainee gives her a burst of badly needed optimism and some hope for financial stability. Eager to please on her first day, she’s seated alongside the passport officer she’s shadowing when she sees a yellow warning light go off as a woman’s documents pass through the computer.
Lara’s actions have immediate ramifications: the woman, a refugee from Guinea-Bissau named Adja, is separated from the others she’s traveling with and put into quarantine—and later transferred to a holding center to await a decision on her status. Meanwhile, Lara, unable to forestall eviction, is forced to find shelter in her car when other alternatives prove untenable. Though facing different hardships in an unwelcoming land—wintry Iceland has rarely looked so forbidding—these two women’s stories will link up once again as their isolation leads them to cling to one another.
With great compassion and bravura performances, And Breathe Normally presents a female-centered portrait of two vastly different people who find a human connection that unites them when the safety net of social and legal systems seems poised to fail them. As two vulnerable citizens of the world, Lara and Adja take it upon themselves to find a way out of their predicaments.
— ROD ARMSTRONG
- Language: In Icelandic, English, and Guinea-Bissau Creole with English subtitles
- Premiere Status: Bay Area