Hollywood would have perhaps made the story into a thriller. Instead, the directors “were inspired more by Dreyer’s Ordet,” said Lawlor, “by his original use of the camera,” with numerous long shots “that help audiences reflect deeply, without being distracted by continuous editing cuts”.
Thus, the film shares next to nothing with detective stories. “The way we represented the police is anything but realistic. We didn’t aim for social realism but a more philosophical approach,” he added. The filmmakers are less interested in solving the case than in the psychological investigation of the main character and the hypnotic rhythm of the images (photographed by Ole Birkeland and edited by Molloy).
The final instalment of the project “Civic Life” begun five years ago – “Nine shorts and this feature film, which form a single work, developed in close contact with some of the local communities and strong social ties to the territory,” said Lawlor – Helen is a UK/Ireland co-production led by Desperate Optimist Production.
Gabriele Barcaro Cineuropa.org