Norway, 2007, 79 min
Direction: Bard Breien
Cast: Fridtjov Saheim, Kjersti Holmen, Henrik Mestad, Marian Saastad Ottesen, Kari Simonsen, Kristi Eline Torhaug, Per Shaaning
Awards: for best film direction, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2007, NDR Promotion Prize, Lubeck Nordic Film Days, 2007; nominatios: Amanda Awards, Norveška – in the following categories: best actor, best film direction, best film
Selection: Exit Point
Two times awarded movie called The Art of Negative Thinking of Norwegian director Bard Breien is going to be shown in the program of Exit Point Selection.
The Art of Negative Thinking is a burlesque drama with comedy elements about unusual psychological life of thirty-year-old Geirr who becomes handicapped after a car accident. Wanting to show everybody how he feels bad, Geirr, extremely bitter, completely withdraws to himself, thinking only about medications and weapons…
His girlfriend Ingvid does not know how to cope with his serious mental condition, so she invites therapists to their house. Although initially rejecting, and being afraid of jeopardizing their relationship with his attitude, he finally agrees to meet the group.
The leader of the therapists group, Tori (40), with the support of the other members, tries to come closer to depressed Geirr using an aggressive method of positive thinking. However, soon after, Gierr notices that each of the smiling members hides the same despair he feels: Lillemor is 65, divorced and very lonely. After living in a nice part of the town in a lovely house, he is condemned to a small flat in a suburb. Asbjorn is a fifty-year-old patient who lost the ability to talk after a dangerous heart attack; he is full of suppressed aggression, while completely paralyzed Marte, behind a fake smile, tries to hide her grief for her boyfriend Gard.
At the end of the day spent together, Geirr manages to bring the group to his side, disabling positive thinking, first to the group leader, Tori. Completely free from the accepted method of thinking, the group members go through new depressions, bizarre conflicts, and unpleasant truths, way into dawn, until they see the light. With spending time with Geirr, the group sees and understands the art of negative thinking in its full “light”.