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The Charmer / Charmøren

Tracing the struggles of Esmail, an Iranian immigrant in Denmark, who wants to become a Danish citizen, The Charmer is a striking feature-film debut from the Iranian/Swedish director Milad Alami. On the surface, the film appears to be a gentle and well-mannered story of the hoops Esmail has to jump through to reach citizenship, but it has a very misleading underlying message which becomes increasingly apparent and has serious consequences for Esmail.

When we first meet Esmail we can see where the film’s title comes from. He’s dressed . . .

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Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.