Anna Odell: ¨The Reunion (Återträffen), seen at CPH:DOX, november 2013.
– Yes, hello. Is this Anna Odell speaking?
– Hi, you don’t know me but I have just seen your film…
– Okay – [awkward pause] – did you like it?
– Yeah, that’s the thing and the reason why I called you. I loved it, I am jealous and I want to work with you!
– Erhm, thank you… and who are you again?
– Never mind that now, but I think you are a fucking superstar and this film is just great. The first 40 minutes is a brilliantly crafted fiction film about your 20 anniversary school reunion. You remember the times at school somewhat differently than the rest of the party which you reveal in a little speech about you being bullied. Then things kind of evolve from there, and it’s just heartbreaking and superbly done. The film now undergoes a metamorphosis and while the camera is tracking down the empty halls of what could be any Scandinavian school, we hear you having telephone conversations with your real classmates (at least I suppose they are real conversations) where you tell them that you’ve made this film about your reunion and you would like to talk to them and show them the film. From then on, the film is about your efforts to confront these classmates for real.
– Well, it’s not all real, you know…
– No, it’s obvious that the “real” classmates in the second half of the film also is staged somehow, but what is more important is that you through your way of constructing the film gets us all to wonder about behavior among kids and grown-ups, about victimization and most certainly also about revenge and the nature of rehabilitation. Your way of using fiction and reality with twists and turns is so clever that I just sat back in awe – especially because you managed to make is so heartfelt at the same time.
– Okay, listen, I appreciate your opinion, but I have a meeting…
– And the self-portrait of the artist and the self-involvement is just what gives the whole film such a fantastic aura of … erhm… how films and documentaries should be.
– Again, thank you… by the way, how did you get my number?
– The thing is… as a filmmaker, I feel intimidated by your work… my ideas seem so lame in comparison… I don’t know, it kind of makes me love you and hate you at the same time… …
– So, can I call you again sometime?