Border movie explained: the meaning of the ending

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This article reveals the explained plot and the detailed events in 2018 movie Border, directed by Ali Abbasi, revealing its meaning, symbols, ending and storyline. We recommend you to read it only after watching the movie, and not before, in order to preserve the pleasure of the first vision.

Border is a unconventional Swedish movie released in 2018, a mix of thriller, love story and supernatural events. It won the Un Certain Regard award at 2018 Cannes Film Festival and it shows a story full of symbols and changes of perspective. In this article we will delve into the plot and explain the ending and the meaning of the movie.

Border: the plot explained

Tina is a weird woman. She has a primitive, animalesque look and she owns an advanced sense of smell, through which she can sense guilt, shame and anger on other people. She uses this skill as a border custom guard, detecting people who carries illegal stuff. Not only smelling substances like alcohol, but also identifying pedophiles who own digital videos, only by smelling their shame.

One day she meets a man who looks very similar to her. The two are fascinated by each other. The man’s name is Vore and Tina doesn’t smell anything suspicious on him. She meets him at his hostel and invites him to stay at her house, where he lives with a dog trainer, Roland. During the stay, Vore and Tina get closer and hw starts to reveal to her the reason why they look so similar.

Tina always thought that she was a deformed woman due to a chromosomic anomaly, but Vore explains her that it’s not true. She’s not a deformed human being. She is just not human: she is a troll, just like him. A different species, that humans tortured in the past. There is a community in Finland, that tries to survive far from civilised world. The two make love, in a inhuman way.

With this awareness, Tina confront her human father, and in that confrontation she gets the corfirmation that he wasn’t her real father. She also kick Roland out of her home, and discover a strange baby inside the fridge in Vore’s room. In the meanwhile, her help during the pedophile investigation is successful and one of the man who trafficked babies is arrested. But while brought away inside a police car, Vore sets a trap, takes him out of the car and kills him, without being recognized. Tina checks the murder scene and understands.

She finds Vore in the woods and confronts him. Vore confesses that he was helping those men to traffick babies. It’s part of the revenge that Vore, as a troll, takes against humans, who are evil individuals that attack their own kids. In this way, Vore helps the human species to destroy itself and suffer. He also explains that the baby in the fridge is a hiisi, a dying troll embryo. What end he will make and how Vore and Tina disagree on life brings us to the ending of the movie.

The movie ending, explained

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The baby of Tina’s friends has been attacked. She sees the baby and she notices a resemblance with Vore’s hiisi in the fridge. This is therefore the way Vore was initiating the pedophile human business: he kidnapped human babies and replaced them with a hiisi that he gave birth to, specifically looking like his prey. Then he sells the human baby for the pedophile business.

Tina finds a note in Vore’s room about a ferry he’s gonna take. She meets him there and he proposes her to be together and continue their species. But Tina refuses: even though she’s not human, she doesn’t like the idea to damage human people. After all, she has been raised as a human, and she believes not all human beings are evil. She wonders if this way of thinking makes her human or not: an interesting question for Vore, who thinks all humans are evil and has in front of his eyes a troll who is not evil and doesn’t want to harm humans.

Tina helps the police to arrest Vore, but he escapes and jumps in the sea. Once home, Tina hears her father’s confession: he’s not the real father, he was working in the psychiatric clinic where Tina’s parents were held, together with many other trolls. He offered to raise Tina and he did it, that’s why Tina thinks she was human.

In last scenes of the movie, Tina receives a box: it’s the son Vore gave birth to. It’s Tina’s son. Tina feels her mother nature towards her baby troll. Through this feeling, she understands that her nature is to continue her species. She will do it in a harmonic way, with no unnecessary battles against humans. As spectators, we don’t know if Tina will join the troll community in Finland or not, but most likely she will start living as a troll, together with her son.

The meanings of the movie

The symbols of Border are many. One above all, the concept of parasites: Vore accuses humans to be parasite, to lack a survival instict as a species and behave with no regard to their own children. Nevertheless, Vore’s behavior as a troll is also typical of parasites: he gives birth to dying embryos, replace human babies with dying creatures, then sells the babies for a lethal business. In fact, his behavior is similar to a virus.

Tina’s lifestyle is in harmony with the rest of the world. She’s integrated as human, she helps to respect the social laws and she fights crime. Despite not being human, she follows the natural values of any living species. Differently from Vore, who is guided by anger and revenge.

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