Winner, Critics’ Week Award, Venice Film FestivalA Swede of Balkan descent, twentysomething Raša (Nermina Lukac) isn’t the kind of person who would normally catch your eye. Slightly overweight and shabbily dressed, she resembles a descendant of Bresson’s Mouchette. But Raša isn’t nearly as forlorn as her cinematic predecessors: despite having little or no money, she forges numerous friendships, takes pride in her job (she’s the ‘fixer’ on the floor of the packing plant where she works), has a loving relationship with her father, and is part of a tight, supportive enclave of émigrés from Eastern Europe.
However, Raša’s provisionally happy existence is about to be disrupted. The packing plant is looking for ‘efficiencies’. As Raša’s support network fragments and dissolves, she is confronted with a painful choice: leave her father and her friends for a new job in a different part of Sweden, or face permanent unemployment.
Possibly the most exciting first feature to emerge from Sweden since Fucking Åmål, Gabriela Pichler’s Eat Sleep Die is a heart-wrenching account of the new Europe under globalization. Directed with sensitivity and profound emotional insight by Pichler, Eat Sleep Die boasts brilliant performances from the largely non-professional cast led by Lukac, who is simply unforgettable as the indomitable Raša.
Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Film Festival