The Case (2013)

The Case

Duration 8min 50 sec

The Case is a short film by Cecilia Stenbom.

The Case investigates how crime fiction preys and perpetuates anxiety in a culture of fear whilst being a constant source of entertainment within popular culture. The Case examines the fine line between justified safety measures and peoples’ irrational fears for personal safety.

The film takes its starting point from popular crime fiction and in particular the opposing genres of Nordic (or Scandinavian) Noir and popular British TV crime drama. The perceived narrative created in The Case is constructed around the relationship between a female and a male detective who are apparently investigating a crime in a small town. Their conversations take place around a series of extracted scenarios within what is actually a fictitious crime investigation: the crime scene, the police squad room, and the aftermath of an arrest, as all of the dialogue and voiceovers in the film are reenactments from a series of transcribed recordings in which members of the general public were invited to talk about their perception of crime, potential for violence and popular crime drama.

The structure of the film plays with the fictional and documentary origins of the narrative by mixing voiceover segments with actors playing roles in what appears to be a more constructed drama. The drama is then juxtaposed with cut away scenes of  breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding landscape of the picturesque town of Berwick. The location of Berwick builds on a clichéd tradition of setting crime drama in small respectable towns, towns that in reality are generally safe places where few actual acts of random crime ever take place.

As a Swedish Artist living in England Stenbom has used The Case to make a work that explores her own very specific interest in how notions of identity are connected over The North Sea through popular fiction.

The Case is entirely shot in and around Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, North East England. The Case was commissioned by Berwick Visual Arts and Berwick Film & Media Festival. Produced together with independent producer and filmmaker Mat Fleming. Cinematography by Minttumaari Mäntynen and edited by Edwin Mingard.


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