New Country

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Refreshing, outrageous, and ultimately moving, Geir Hansteen Jorgensen's THE NEW COUNTRY celebrates the absurdity and beauty of human relations by focusing on the unlikely blossoming friendship between three social outsiders. Ali (Mike Almayehu) and Massoud (Michalis Koutsogiannakis) are immigrants living in an asylum camp in southern Sweden. Ali, a 15-year-old Somalian, dreams of running for the Swedish Olympic team, while Massoud merely wants a country that will grant him citizenship. On the verge of deportation, Massoud and Ali buy a cheap car and flee the confines of their camp. During a minor pit stop, Ali stumbles across the beautiful Louise (Lia Boysen), with whom he immediately falls in love. Louise, running from problems of her own, asks the unusual pair for a ride. Together, the incongruous threesome begins their aimless journey through the Swedish countryside, meeting a host of bizarre characters along the way. Taking a cue from Denmark's Dogme collective, Jorgensen shoots his film on location, with an energetic flair that fits his subject perfectly. The flawless performances of Almayehu, Koutsogiannakis, and Boysen, combined with Jorgensen's stimulating direction, breathe new life into the familiar road movie genre.This film was included in the 31st New Directors/New Films 2002 series presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Department of Film and Media of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


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