Koko-di Koko-da (2019)

Koko-di Koko-da
Director: Johannes Nyholm
Writer: Johannes Nyholm
Cast: Leif Edlund, Ylva Gallon, Peter Belli, Katarina Jakobson, Morad Baloo Khatchadorian, Brandy Litmanen
Part of: /slash Filmfestival 1/2
Seen on: 3.5.2019
1-gif-review

Content note: sexualized violence, rape

Plot:
Tobias (Leif Edlund) and Elin (Ylva Gallon) plan to spend the weekend camping. Their relationship hasn’t been going well and they hope that some time focusing on each other may give them the chance to repair things. They pitch their tent on a clearing in the woods and start settling. But then Mog (Peter Belli) – incongruously dressed in a white suit – shows up with his entourage and things take a very bad turn . And then another. And another.

Koko-di Koko-da builds from a strong idea and has some excellent moments, though overall it runs a tad too long. The main story is intercut with beautiful animation – basically short films within the film, told in chapters. They were the strongest bit for me. I did enjoy the film overall, but I didn’t love it.

The film poster showing the film's characters and a spiral with colorful drawings.

[Vague SPOILERS]

It’s never easy to tell a story where the main conceit is repetition. Koko-di Koko-da moslty strikes a good balance, though, in switiching things up during the loops, but it does run a tad too long nevertheless. The strongest loop was probably the first that was still most firmly rooted in reality – and where everything was still fresh. The problem was that in the loops after that Tobias was so completely horrible as a person, that I could barely stand watching, despite the fact that the way the loops play out was interesting. I just wanted to shoot him myself and that didn’t help me with staying interested.

When the loops start to become more fantastic, less moored in reality, things take an even more engaging turn. By then, it was almost too late for the film to recapture my interest, but it got there (and the sudden snow was very cool). Interspersed are the animated stories I mentioned that I absolutely loved, though I’m not sure I can really connect them to the rest of the film, at least the second one.

Tobias (Leif Edlund) peeking out of his tent.

What I had a really hard time with was the sexualization of the attacks on Elin. The film would have worked just as well if she had just been beaten or killed instead of sexually assaulted or raped. It was also weird to me how she just lies there in the second segment and nobody pays any attention to her anymore, although she doesn’t appear to be dead.

The film is very atmospheric. Mog and his crew are super creepy. There is a lot of material for dissection and analysis here. But in the end, I lost interest a little too much to really want to deep dive into the film. Still, it’s a good watch and maybe you can lose yourself in it a little more.

A group of weirdly dressed people walking through the forest.

Summarizing: mixed, but the good parts are definitely worth it.

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