And Breathe Normally

By Lyden, John | Journal of Religion and Film, April 2018 | Go to article overview

And Breathe Normally


Lyden, John, Journal of Religion and Film


Lara is a single mother who has trouble holding a job, paying her rent, or even buying food. When she gets a job checking passports of people who enter Iceland, she thinks she may have a chance for a better life for herself and her son Eldar. She detects the fake passport of Adja, who is posing as French but actually is a refugee from Guinea-Bissau, which causes Adja to be sent to prison and then to a holding center while she pleads her case for political asylum. Lara may feel guilty about this, but she was doing her job. Things change, however, when events bring Adja and Lara together.

Adja finds Lara's son when he is lost, so that now Lara is somewhat beholden to her. When Adja finds Lara and her son living in Lara's car, she then takes them in to live with her, and looks after Eldar while Lara works. Adja doesn't seem to resent any of this, even though she has been separated from her own daughter due to Lara's actions. Lara becomes increasingly involved in Adja's life as she fears Adja may try to escape the country illegally; they now care about each other, in spite of a system that has pitted them against each other. …

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