An unsettling but important film about when a system becomes more important than a person's life. Seven minutes without dialogue. The most unsettling aspect of the film is that it could be absolutely true.
The Los Angeles Times calls Jenifer Malmqvist's film On Suffocation a "surreal study in a pristine prison inside an unnamed Islamic state where being gay comes with lethal consequences." Malmqvist's film is in the International Narrative category of the Sundance Film Festival Shorts Program this year, and is a work sponsored by the Swedish Film Institute. Sundance describes it as a "dialogue-free film about an execution [that] describes what happens when the system becomes more important than human life."
"This film was born out of equal parts [of] love and anger. I am so damn glad that it will premiere in Sundance because it's an important film and I hope it [will be seen] widely. The production was a fast pace with a wonderful team and absolutely fabulous actor. My hope is that the audience is reminded of the need to treat each other with humility" - Jenifer Malmqvist
I'm disappointed I couldn't secure an interview with Jenifer for this Sundance Series (but there might be hope yet!), especially as the premise of this film resonates with me, and treats a subject that I think is tragically ignored within the larger conversations we have -- in the U.S. especially -- about the practice of imprisonment, treatment of prisoners, LGBT rights, foreign policy and "winning hearts and minds" when it comes to so-called "nation-building" within Islamic countries.
Writer/director Jenifer Malmqvist’s short films have been screened and awarded at festivals around the world. Both Peace Talk (2007) and Birthday (2010) have previously screened at the Sundance Film Festival. A graduate of the film directing program at the Polish National Film School in Lodz, Malmqvist was awarded a scholarship in memory of the Swedish film director Bo Widerberg in 2009. She is currently working on a short documentary and the script for her first fiction feature film.