What begins as a possible film about immigrants flocking to Europe transforms into a dark chamber piece, one that uses the topic of migration to initiate a chance meeting between two people. Men who seem to have nothing in common but share intimate moments over the course of one night.
Nobadi begins on a dark note and rarely deviates from it. After the death of Robert Senft (Heinz Trixner) dog, the old man is spotted by a young Afghani immigrant Adib Ghubar (Borhanulddin Hassan Zadeh) who is desperate to work. When he sees Senft carrying a pickaxe, Ghubar follows him home and offers to help despite not knowing what he will be doing.
While Senft’s grieves over the loss of his last companion, he unexpectedly gains a new one in the young Ghubar who helps digs the dog’s grave for a measly three Euros an hour. Ghubar, who is secretly concealing an injured foot, works diligently despite the cranky Senft admonishing him constantly. However, when Ghubar’s condition worsens, Senft’s decides to take drastic actions to aide the young man. This takes the men’s strong bond, and the film for that matter, into, emotionally complex territory.
Through their connection, Nobadi becomes a fascinating rumination on many existential realities of humanity. Despite their differences on the surface, their commonalities touch on the nature of identity, the impact of relationships, and the pain of past experience that will forever leave a scar.
Karl Markovic’s film captures our tendency to not look at what we must, such as Senft’s hesitance to bury his dog, or Ghubar ignoring his injury. Nobadi highlights the responsibility one must take for their actions, and ultimately, how they may create an undesired reality that can never be undone.
Sunday, September 15, Scotiabank, 9 PM