Tuškanac Cinema / Thursday, 18 May / 9.30 pm

The Store / Butiken

Sweden, 2023, 118'
Director: Ami-Ro Sköld · Screenplay: Ami-Ro Sköld · Photography: Hanna Högstedt · Editing: Patrik Forsell · Producer: Lovisa Charlier - Onoma Productions, Indyca, Film i Väst, GötaFilm, Fidalgo Film Production · Cast: Eliza Sica, Daysury Valencia, Arbi Alviati, Eleftheria Gerofoka

Eleni has been promoted to the position of supermarket manager. She knows this means that she has to start pushing her coworkers harder and harder in order to make them work as efficiently as possible in the least amount of time. If this means that the cashier can’t take a bathroom break because of long supermarket queues, or that one of her closest colleagues has to hide her pregnancy in order to keep her job, so be it. Eleni herself recently had a baby, which makes her all the more ready to do what it takes to climb the corporate ladder. Otherwise, she may be forced to join the homeless people that live off of the food thrown out as garbage by the supermarket, food that is still actually good. Through a series of anecdotes involving supermarket employees and their manager Eleni, who keeps pushing them to their breaking point, Swedish dramedy The Store by director Ami-Ro Sköld depicts an insightful and sociologically informed study of labour relations within the neoliberal economy, and by doing so surprises the viewer with its genre innovation. A substantial part of the film was executed using the technique of puppet animation, which is is interspersed with live action scenes. Sköld thus achieves a Brechtian distancing effect that allows us to take a sober look at the situation, while paradoxically fuelling the empathy we feel towards the characters. Through a series of tragicomic vignettes with excellent non-proffesional actors, Sköld arranges a disturbing composite of exploitative and self-exploitative relations in late capitalism – The Store is an ambitious yet flawlessly executed piece that will make you feel uncomfortable next time you step foot in your local supermarket. (DP)

Awards and festivals:

International Film Festival Rotterdam (2023) –  world premiere; BFI London Film Festival (2023)

Ami-Ro Sköld was born in 1977 in Sweden. She is a director, animator, screenwriter, producer and the founder of Onoma Productions. In 2009, she filmed her first feature film, Nasty Old People. Her following film, Granny’s Dancing on the Table (2015) got nominated for the Guldbagge Award for Best Director. In her films, Sköld combines stop-motion animation and live action. She often relies on improvisation and uses actors with no formal training.