"And Breath Normally" Movie Review

Written by Clare O'Connor and Edited by Daniel O'Connor //

Can be found on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and iTunes

Lara looks back at a house that she can no longer afford while Adja looks out through her window in a bleak temporary shelter. Though on the surface it seems that they are as different as humans can be, they are both thinking about the collapse of their lives and it effects on their children. Lara dedicates herself to her new job as an Icelandic customs agent in order to bring herself and her son out of poverty while Adja crosses continents in order to save herself and her daughter from persecution. The lives of these two women seem to be inexplicably connected by fate as they help each other navigate a seemingly fatalistic world that is fated against them. Although these two women are seemingly opposites, one being a customs agent and the other being a detained immigrant, they are still able to form an unlikely bond as mothers that, ultimately, might save them both.

And Breath Normally is an Icelandic language film that takes place in Iceland and follows a few days in the life of these two women. The audience are shown moments from each woman's life that help us gather a sense of who they are and help us to empathize with them, their plight, and the unrecognized stresses that so many single mothers have whose lives have been overturned by economic upheaval, systemic violence and an system that does not respond to human suffering. Perhaps justice should not be so blind after all.

The movie features brief explicit romantic encounters, but otherwise, it is an appropriate movie to show to all ages (age 13+). Despite the demoralizing subject material, the tone of the movie is overall hopeful and stresses the positive impacts that humans can have on each other. I would recommend this film for anyone looking to understand the fight of individual immigrants and the inhumanity of borders and the power of identifying with others who are seemingly so different from us.

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