Curse of existence

89-submarino-danish-2010 Submarino (Danish, 2010)

Submarino is a method of torture, in which a person is asphyxiated by covering his or her head with a plastic bag, and submerging it in water. Director Thomas Vinterberg’s drama of the same name is about two brothers and their futile attempts to get a grip over their burdensome lives that submerges them deeper and deeper into the hells of their own creation.

Nick is an alcoholic who has been recently released from prison. He aggressively pumps iron even though he has a serious hand injury. He lives in a run-down hostel and is a misanthrope. His brother, meanwhile, is a junkie, who finds it hard to resist the urge for the next fix, even as he worries about the future of his six-year-old son.

Life has always been harsh to the brothers. They are both damaged, owing to parental neglect and abuse they faced as kids, and a tragedy for which they blame themselves. Their paths seldom cross, after they go their separate ways, but for a few brief moments. Will the brothers find some saving grace when their paths cross? Will there be an end to the relentless struggles while they strive to stay sane?

Winner of several awards, Submarino is a grim, fascinating take on loss, grief, desperation and addiction.