Eat Sleep Die
Eat Sleep DieOriginal Title: Äta sova dö
Director: Gabriela Pichler
Sweden | Serbo-Croatian, Swedish
| Colour and B&W
Subtitles: Arabic and English
Winner of the Venice Film Festival Critic’s Week audience award, this unexpectedly moving drama has xenophobia as its underlying theme. In rural southern Sweden, Raša Abdulahović (played by the lively, spontaneous Nermina Lukač) is a no-nonsense 21-year-old tomboy who spends her evenings looking after her worn-out father and socialising with her fellow workers from the vegetable-packing plant. Raša can pack 12 bags of lettuce in 45 seconds, but when it’s time for the factory to fire people, Raša is the first to go. Perhaps it is due to her Arabic-sounding name and Muslim heritage, and the fact that she is of Balkan extraction.
When she loses her job, Raša is forced into an odd world where bureaucracy rules and ‘confidence coaching’ is deemed necessary. Her sense of disorientation and loss of purpose increase when her beloved father must go to Norway to find work. Now she is alone and desperate to find a new job. The small-town life that she is clinging to just seems to be getting
smaller. She begins to realise that there is a bigger world out there and ultimately she will have to face it.
The daughter of a Bosnian and an Austrian, director-writer Gabriela Pichler says, “Sweden isn’t the country that many people think it is. What I saw on television as a teenager was never true to the life that I and my family led…When I started making films I wanted to broaden the picture, to show a different kind of reality.'
– Alissa Simon