Natasha Arthy – Se til venstre, der er en Svensker AKA Old, New, Borrowed and Blue (2003)


REVIEW by Anji Milanovic (from

In Old, New, Borrowed and Blue director Natasha Arthy begins the film with a signed certificate of authenticity from the Dogma school. By the film’s end, however, it’s clear that she has taken the rules of Dogma and used them to make her own engaging film, instead of an exercise in philosophical experimentation.

Katrine (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is a few days from tying the knot to her dopey but affable fiance (Soren Byder). Her sister (Lotte Anderson) is locked up in a mental ward following a painful break up to Thomsen (Bjorn Kjellman), who abandoned her and took off to Africa. Enter Thomsen on Katrina’s doorstep and together they take off to prepare for Katrine’s wedding.

Katrine’s biggest problem is being able to be honest with others and ultimately with herself. She’s incapable of being responsible: she can’t tell her sister she’s about to be married nor can she confront Thomsen with crucial information he deserves to know. It’s time to be an adult but she drags her feet. Her life, like many others in the Western world, is without major problems or traumas; i.e. she lives comfortably and enjoys her freedom. By introducing Thomsen and by extension Africa, subconsciously the audience becomes aware that another world exists. Introducing AIDS also brings in an epidemic and social problem prevalent from Africa to Denmark. Arthy achieves this without miring her film in social inequalities.

Once the blushing bride is released from jail (where she spends the night handwriting place cards—hmm, a subconscious message about her impending marriage?) she’s escorted to the altar by a policewoman, where she pulls on her wedding gown in the street before entering the church with a dog and a cell phone that rings at an inopportune moment. One of the most hilarious wedding scenes ever filmed involves the priest finally getting disgusted and kicking everyone out of his church.

The use of music gives the film an added edge to the usual Dogma rules of natural light and the actor’s wearing their own wardrobe (obviously not the philosophy in its entirety). It’s most effective in the scenes with Katrine’s sister, whose emotions are conveyed by the band that plays in her head and in the hospital room.

Though it’s not living through war or protesting injustice, Arthy shows that leaving adolescent whims behind and no longer hiding under the covers still takes a certain kind of courage. And humor.

Subtitles:Czech, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish (SubRip)

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