Amateurs follows a group of whimsy and tenacious girls who attempt to make a film with their cameras. Lafors, a small Swedish community specializing in leather and fabric production, is in desperate need of a fresh start as there has been a dramatic increase in the unemployment rate due to outsourcing and subcontracting. When the German low-cost superstore “Superbilly” considers setting up business in this small town, the local government officers expect that hundreds of new jobs will be created. Seeking to promote the village, a local civil servant named Musse, decides to make a promotional video about Lafors with help of the villagers. Dana and Aida, two cheerful teenage girls from immigrant families, capture the rough yet lively village using their mobile phones and selfie sticks. Meanwhile, Musse, hoping to produce a highly sophisticated, professional video, hires an expert from the United States.
Many provincial towns these days face economic crises and unemployment. What does it mean to have a low-cost superstore? It is just an easy, short-term solution to revitalize the town. It will create new jobs but only temporarily. Ultimately, the town will end up losing ground for farming and the factories will shut down. Low-cost products produced with unethical labor in underdeveloped countries will pour into the town and leave it fragmented. The director poses simple yet scathing questions about the collapse of provincial communities, the co-existence of people from different backgrounds, and the issue of fair trade by focusing on immigrant families. The film even highlights the ethics of filmmaking by juxtaposing the empty promise of the professional promo video with the endeavors of the amateur teenage filmmakers. [SONG Hyo Joung]
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Gabriela PICHLERGabriela PICHLER
Gabriel PICHLER trained at the Film Academy in Gotheburg. Her short film Scrubs was awarded the Swedish Oscars for Best Short Film. PICHLER’S first feature Eat Sleep Die had won the Audience Award at the Film Critic’s Week before it even premiered in 2012 at the Venice International Film Festival, which was followed by continued success at film festivals around the world. PICHLER was awarded at the Swedish Oscars for Best film, Script and Director. Her unconventional mix of wit and social commentary, combined with an eye for brilliant amateur actors, are characteristics which define her second feature, Amateurs.