Tina, who has grotesque, almost animal-like physical features, has always felt self-conscious about her looks. Regardless, she has: a live-in boyfriend, Roland, a dog trainer, at her isolated house in the woods, although they have never had sex, and Tina’s father, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, believing he is solely using her; the unconditional love and support of her father; a small group of friends; and the admiration of her bosses and coworkers in her job as a customs agent at the Ferry terminal, as she is literally able to “smell” human emotions, especially guilt and fear. It is using that innate ability that she stops a seemingly straight-laced person entering the country, he who was found to be carrying a memory card containing child pornography. As such, her immediate supervisor, Agneta, places her on a small investigative unit to discover the producers of this material. Tina is surprised when she is found to be incorrect about another person going through customs, Vore, an entomologist who, like her, possesses those similar grotesque, almost animal-like physical features, he who is found not to be carrying anything incriminating. In Vore and Tina’s multiple encounters at customs, the two begin a friendship, Tina, for the first time, believing she having found a kindred spirit. As Tina learns more and more about Vore, the more she learns about herself. As more and more information comes to light, Tina has to decide whether to abandon the life she has known in its entirety for the future that Vore offers her, that future which may go against what she has always believed to be the good about being human.—Huggo
While creating the film, Ali Abbasi was influenced by a lot of Latin American magical realism including Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes and Roberto Bolaño.