Borderline (1930) - Rotten Tomatoes

Borderline (1930)

Borderline (1930)






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Starring Paul Robeson (one of the first black movie actor/singers to achieve mainstream popularity) in a rare silent role, this experimental drama was thought lost until the 1990s when it was rediscovered by the British Film Institute. The Switzerland-set melodrama takes place in a resort and chronicles the reaction of patrons when an interracial couple shows up for a stay. Some critics claim that careful, sensitive viewers may be able to pick out gay subtext running throughout the story. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Kenneth MacPherson
In Theaters:

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Critic Reviews for Borderline

Audience Reviews for Borderline


I saw this film in an art house in Edinburgh as part of a course I was taking at the time... features H.D., author of A Tribute to Freud, and unique in its existence as a totally silent movie - no words but no music either, rare for its time. Problem is, when totally silent, there is a significant sleep risk... especially as a student studying abroad with a two-week hangover built up. I'm told that I had a pretty serious snoring problem (real rating pending).

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

A bizarre little film. A rather ground breaking film for it's depiction of an interacial love triangle and sexuality. The film was directed by Kevin Macpherson, who was editor of Britian's first film journal 'Close-Up'.
The story involves two couples. A black couple Pete (played by African-American actor/singer/activist, Paul Robeson) and Adah. Also a white couple Thorne and Astrid. Adah is having an affair with Thorne, which obviously doesn't please Pete or Astrid. It's then that Thorne accidently kills Astrid, yet he escapes punishment and Pete is forced to leave. As well as the interacial theme, there's a few subtle homosexual references in minor characters. Such as the manageress and barmaid at the inn and how the pianist longingly looks at a picture of Pete whilst playing.
Though the story is not always easy to follow, mainly due to the shortage of intertitles, it is however very experimental, and uses rapid montage sequences clearly influenced by the editing of Sergei Eisenstein.

Emily B.

Super Reviewer

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