MY THOUGHTS: Jimmy Olsson's Short "Alive"!

I think it’s easy to just see people as they are in front of us, take from them what we want, and then continue. However, this causes us to judge and assume, without ever really knowing each other. Writer and director Jimmy Olsson pushes us to see someone for more than that, which I think is fantastic. His 2020 short, Alive, really highlights the importance of intimacy, specifically for people with disabilities.

Through the 23-minute short film, we see the life of Victoria, who is stuck in a wheelchair and has suffered from brain damage. Ida, her caregiver and friend, supports her and begins to understand that Victoria yearns for love and touch just as much as she does.

Eva Johansson plays Victoria with a beautiful determination and really shows us what it is to be human. What it is to have desires and wishes, and how life is for everyone, not just those who can easily access it.

Eva Johansson as Victoria
I loved seeing Madeleine Martin play the character of Ida across from her. They both seemed so different, worlds apart even. But as the film plays out, we discover they’re more alike, and they care for each other more than even their characters think.

Something that really stood out for me was the colour and tone of the film. I really appreciated the light and bright naturalness to really let the story shine. It would’ve been easy to have wild colours and neon signs, but instead, it relies on the actors to fill the screen with colour, and they do this with wonder. Olsson really has captured something big, but in a classic and simple way. This, paired with stunning cinematography from Staffan Övgård and spot on editing by Anton Nilsson, really lets us see that all people are people who deserve love. One of my favourite moments that shows this is when an evening carer is helping Victoria get ready for bed and we see a slight mirrored image into Ida’s evening with her boyfriend.

Really worth the watch, this film will take you on ups and downs, wanting to support Victoria and her choices, but also want to keep her safe like Ida. It’ll hopefully open your eyes to the natural needs of everyone. Of course, we all need shelter, food and water, but to survive we need each other.

This film, along with many others, was meant to be premiered at a film festival, but due to the world's current situation, it hasn't been. I am unsure of when this film will be made available for public viewing, but I will post a link when it is. Until then, please research other short films and festivals which could not go ahead so people can have their work supported. Thank you.

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