Noi Albinoi: Barbarism Begins at Home

Raised in a remote Icelandic village, Noi is tired of his monotonous, structured life and hoping to run away. Incompatible with other villagers who are also dying inside but doing nothing but following the rules as there are. In his first feature film, Dagur Kári brings to life a story he wrote when he was at Noi’s age. It’s kind of a story that has a premise of almost every teen angst movie but is told in a subtle, unique way.

Noi is not exactly sure where to go. It could be anywhere but where he has been all his life. When he takes the new girl out to a museum, they look at a world map and pick Hawaii as a place to go which is a tropical-land that is entirely different than Iceland. That’s what teens that are outsiders would wish for now and then. His edginess has made him alienated by the villagers long before they could realise that. Let’s take his father as example, he thought he had been doing everything right enough, then when he finds out things are not the way he thought they were, he starts giving more attention to his son and help him do something instead of doing nothing as a passive protester. The job he finds for Noi funnily enough is to be a gravedigger. He gets used to the job as if he digs himself out of the place, out of a compromise that can be reached at some time, but definitely not at the moment.

Tómas Lemarquis gives life to Noi, as if the role was written especially for him to play. Noi’s mysterious acts are perfectly suited on him and the way he approaches to the character helps the audience build empathy with him and also makes them feel like living in such a unique land out of the world that is portrayed in the movie. Rasmus Videbæk’s cinematographic eye, his use of color and lighting makes the movie almost the best way it can be. Edgy, cold, but relatable enough.