Ali Abbasi’s 2018 film Border [Gräns] situates the central character, Tina (Eva Melander), as a liminal figure: lonely, strange, ugly. This is evident from the opening shot of the film, which frames Tina’s broad body against the backdrop of a large container ship that is docked in the Kapellskär port. Backpack in hand, dressed in a border security uniform, Tina stands next to a scruffy patch of green weeds and bracken. The mechanical hum of the ship’s engine rumbles against the gentle call of gulls and the lapping sounds of the grey saltwater. Tina wanders into the weeds, stooping to scoop up a grasshopper. She holds it pressed between her index finger and thumb. Dirt clings underneath her fingernails. Tina inspects the insect, the camera cutting-in to match her eye-line, so we too inspect it briefly, before she gently returns it to a branch amongst the bracken. 

The scene changes to the interior of the Kapellskär port where Tina works as a Customs Officer. The camera cuts to a tightly framed close-up on Tina’s face, lit by fluorescents, allowing us to gaze upon the spectacle of her ugliness. Her brow protrudes, her eyes are deep-set, her skin is pockmarked and hairy. Her square-jaw is slack, so that her crooked and yellowing teeth are almost always visible. Tina’s upper lip lifts into a slight snarl, her nostrils flare; she calls to a disembarking passenger to check his bag. Tina’s job is to sniff out the transgressions of passengers crossing the border into Sweden. From the outset of the film, Abbasi draws us into Tina’s embodied animality, heightened by the point-of-view cinematography which aligns the spectator with Tina’s strange way of being in the world. The film’s sensory form draws us into an empathy with the pitifully ugly woman—who, it turns out, is not pitiful nor ugly at all, but simply another species. Tina, it transpires, is not human. Tina is a troll.  

This essay will examine the film’s intention to mobilise a nonhuman phenomenology, which, I argue, works to draw spectators into alignment with Tina’s body and with her connection the natural world. This sensory form posits a critique of the Anthropocene, working to collapse the hierarchies of man over nature. Further, this film form emulates what Hélène Cixous called the literary “poethical body,” that is, a poetic representation of the body that draws spectators into an ethical address of their own bodily way of being in the world.  

Drawing on Anat Pick’s discussion of ‘creaturely poetics’, Barbara Creed’s work on ‘strays’, and Gretchen E. Henderson’s ‘aesthetics of ugliness’, this essay will argue that the film draws spectators into an embodied, a libidinal, and a sensory economy of form. This form entangles, displaces, and destabilises the spectator in an ethical and empathetic imagining of the nonhuman body. I argue that films like Border allow for a kind of rethinking—by positing an imagination of the nonhuman and a poethical depiction of nonhuman bodies—we are invited to see the world anew, such that we might begin to broach a more resolute critique of the hierarchies of the Anthropocene.

A Nonhuman Ugliness 

Tina’s peculiar physical attributes garnered consistently emphatic responses in several of the English-language reviews that circulated after the film’s release. Descriptions of her body, her face, and her physical mannerisms are repeatedly linked to nonhuman animal behaviours. For example, in a review for The New York Times, Glenn Kenny wrote: 

“[Tina] sniffs. Sometimes her lip curls, revealing stubby, yellow teeth. Her jutting brow ridge furrows a bit. If something agitates her, she growls. Quietly, as if trying to suppress it.”1 

Similarly, Peter Bradshaw’s review for The Guardian emphasises the way that “Tina’s nostrils twitch and her lips pull back from her teeth in a snarl.”2 Geoffrey Macnab from The Independent describes Tina “sniffing like a dog,” and then goes on to describe her as “a lumpy figure with lank hair and bad skin. She is short, squat and self-effacing.”3 In an essay for The New Yorker, Howard Fishman remarks that Tina’s “flat features and awkward manner make her an outcast.  … Even [her boyfriend’s] mastiffs bark at her, as if at a rival.”4 These reviews align the expressions of animality—sniffing, snarling, growling—with the physical attributes of female ugliness. Tina is made a spectacle in these reviews: a grotesque, a freakshow, for spectators to indulge their curiosity particularly because of her gender. As these reviews highlight, the film’s cinematography invites us to gaze upon her ugliness, to revel in the repulsion that such a grotesque figure compels. In the film, Tina describe herself as:  an “ugly, strange human with a chromosome flaw”. This is a quote multiple reviewers draw upon to explain her physical appearance through medical diagnosis, even though we learn later in the film, that it is a lie that was told to Tina to keep the truth about her species from her.5 A problematic dehumanisation is at evident in the easy conflation of disability with nonhuman animal traits at work in those reviews. Though these reviews align her ugliness with animality, as evidence of her social alienation, none quite touch on the significance of the film’s embodied modes of representing her ugliness, her nonhumanness. This aesthetic of ugliness is central to the ways the film engages spectators with its politic. 

In her work on the cultural histories of ugliness, Gretchen Henderson traces the complexities of ugliness as an aesthetic mode. She notes that ugliness historically can reinforce cultural boundaries, particularly when it is used problematically to ostracise, vilify, colonise or scapegoat certain groups of people.6 Henderson writes: “In and of themselves, beasts are not necessarily ‘ugly’ but acquire that connotation when they seem to verge on the subhuman.”7 Representations of human-animal hybrids, Henderson argues, can convey “shifting cultural fears at different moments of history, garnering the reputation of ‘ugly’.”8 However, she also argues that an aesthetics of ugliness can be mobilised to shift meaning, to undo cultural taboos, and to blur the division between ‘Self’ and ‘Other’. In short: ugliness can be subversive. Tina’s ugliness is subversive. 

The ugly body becomes, as Naomi Baker argues, “the site where multiple cultural tensions are negotiated and where potential models of identity [can be] interrogated and confirmed.”9 In defining ‘ugliness’ Henderson draws on an example from third-century Rome: 

Plotinus compared ugliness to a body rolling in mud, mixing problematically with foreign organic material, while Plato’s earlier Parmenides discouraged ‘overlooking even the lowest things’ including dirt. … Mary Douglas’s anthropological exploration of dirt [describes it] as ‘matter out of place’. Ugliness, as ‘matter out of place’, interrupts perceptions in relation to something, or someone else. It is relational.10  

Ugliness is dirty, it is overlooked, it is abjected, it is matter out of place. In Border Tina is matter out of place. The film explicitly links her ugliness to dirt, and to her displacement from others of her species. This is most poignantly highlighted in a scene that follows Tina’s confrontation with her ailing father over her origins. 

At the outset of the film, Tina meets Vore (Eero Milonoff), another troll who teaches her about their species, and corrects her adopted human mannerisms by showing Tina how to forage, eat, and copulate like a troll. Vore explains to Tina that humans slaughtered her species, en masse. Tina’s father confirms that he lied to her, that she was adopted, and that he had her tail surgically removed. Undone by this revelation, Tina stumbles out into the wilderness, the camera tracking her unsteady movement, she seems barely able to hold her body upright. Her breathing is ragged against the sombre score. The camera cuts to a close-up of Tina writhing in pain on the ground. Anguished sobs sporadically escape her mouth. The camera cuts in tighter, framing Tina’s hand as she grips the mossy earth, pulling up clumps of soils. This is intercut with a tight close-up of her face, which moves in and out of focus, highlighting the rough textures of her skin: wrinkled, scarred, hairy. Her protruding brow is furrowed in pain, her eyes squeeze shut tight, her teeth are bared in a grimace. A low growl escapes her. Her cheek is wet from tears which mingle with dark-coloured specks of dirt that cover her face. 










The brief scene is rich with connotation. Tina is as Plotinus described: “a body rolling in mud, mixing problematically with foreign organic material.”11 Tina is matter out of place. The scene gives an embodied expression to her grief at learning she is not human. The camera adopts a haptic gaze, drawing spectators into a sensory alignment with her body. As with earlier scenes, the camera foregrounds her ugliness, explicitly in connection to animal mannerisms and to her placement in the dirt. Her animalistic expressions of pain make sense of her ugliness as nonhuman. The effect is subversive. It elides our ability to look from a distance, as Henderson argues: 

Constantly reworking the space between subject and object, ugliness resists static figuration and helps us to re-evaluate our shifting perceptions. Responses may elicit ‘ugly feelings’, but physical engagements can do more than qualify an object as ‘ugly’: such encounters can suggest that we, as perceiving subjects, might be matters out of place.12

In agreement with Henderson, I would add that the scene’s nonhuman phenomenology that is most subversive. It makes complicates the spectatorial position, inviting us to empathise with Tina as species out of place. Rather than working to repel spectators, the film draws us into an empathy with her experience as a body out of place, addressing our bodies, as spectators, positioning us too as matter out of place. 

In the introduction to his book on the aesthetics of ugliness in fine art, Karl Rosenkranz draws parallels to the animal when trying to define ‘the ugly’. “Nature”, he writes, “spawns some truly ugly animals.”13 He continues: 

For our aesthetic judgement, there creep in here many errors, […] partly through the isolation of an animal in the abstract manner shown to us in an etching or a specimen in a collection. How entirely different an animal seems to us when viewed alive, in its natural surroundings, the frog in water, the lizard in grass, the ape climbing a tree, the polar bear on the ice floe, and so on.14

An example of this is the wide-spread malignment of the blobfish—voted the world’s ugliest animal in 2013 and the official mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.15 The blobfish has a gelatinous, pallid exterior. It has small deep-set eyes, a broad fold that looks like a nose, and a comically downturned mouth. These fish live off the coast of Australia, between 2,000 and 4,000 feet below sea-level, where the water pressure is almost 100 times higher than it is at the surface. In truth, the blob fish’s ugly appearance is the effects of being ripped from its habitat too quickly, such that the rapid decompression as it rises to the surface kills the fish, and turns it into this gelatinous, blobby, mess. The ugliness of the blobfish is the mark of human intervention on the fish’s life. In its natural habitat, at the bottom of the ocean, the fish looks unremarkable, just like any other fish, cute even. An animal taken out of the context of its environment, an animal separated from its pack, an animal marred by human intervention, is an animal perceived as ugly.  

Tina, similarly, was removed from her natural habitat, she is without the context of her species, and she appears to be persistently in a baseline level of discomfort whenever she is outside of the natural world. This calls to mind Barbara Creed’s work on ‘the stray’ and ethical human-animal relations. Creed writes: 

As an outsider, without a home or family, a stray is a marginalised figure who can invoke strong feelings of empathy. A stray ethics helps to focus attention on the most marginalised. … an approach based on entangled empathy pays attention to the particularity of others.”16

Tina is a stray: she was stolen, forcibly removed from other Trolls has an infant, surgically mutilated and left to survive by hiding amongst another species. Tina is also strayed in the sense that she is marginalised because of the mistaken aesthetic judgements made about her appearance as human-hybrid. This is perhaps doubly problematised because she is coded and presents as a human-woman: under patriarchy, the greatest sin a woman can be is ugly. I will return to Creed’s phrase “entangled empathy” shortly, as it is central to the way I interpret the film’s depiction of Tina, but first I want to continue this line of thinking in terms of ugliness. 

Arguably the true ugliness in the film is the human behaviour that Tina uncovers through her work as a custom’s officer. Her nose—which smells out shame, guilt, criminality—leads to the film’s Nordic-noir subplot. She sniffs out a child pornography and sex-trafficking ring. The film foregrounds an ugliness of behaviour that monetises the abuse of the vulnerable. It makes explicit a grotesque exploitation of a human group society considers to be the most deserving of care and protection: namely infants, explicitly depicted here as white babies. The infants who are stolen and abused in this sub-plot, elicit a specific response from us as spectators because culturally children are associated with innocence, helplessness, and point to our futurity as a species. The horror and discomfort that spectators might feel watching these sequences in the film, is exacerbated further because the film takes care to introduce us to Tina’s neighbours and their new-born child, who is later stolen and sold for these abuses. Tina soon learns that it is Vore, the troll she has fallen in love with, who swaps human infants for ‘hiisi’ (unfertalised troll embryos), before trafficking the human child. 

The film is drawing out an allegory here: this ugliness is critiqued in the film as a specifically human ugliness. It sits alongside the other human ugliness: the deliberate genocide of Tina’s species by humans like Tina’s adopted father. It articulates the hierarchies at work in the Anthropocene, where some species, some animals, are prioritised at the expense of other animals, other species. Vore points to these events as his reasoning for seeking revenge on human children, to which Tina replies: “I don’t want to hurt anyone—is it human to think this way?” The film problematises this precise question: positing that it is, in fact, not human to think this way. Vore’s ethical ugliness—perhaps like the blobfish—is a direct result of his marring by human intervention. The film makes clear that human ugliness is the hurt and damage that is consistently done to others, other humans, other species, other animals. The film draws us into an explicit critique of the Anthropocene, via these modes of ugliness. 

Entangled Empathy

In addition to the film’s modes of ugliness, Border also draws us into an affectation of empathy for the nonhuman figure. The film does this through its phenomenological modes of addressing the spectator via the close attention to the details of Tina’s body, her heightened sensory engagement with the world and her tactile connection to the earth and other nonhuman animals. This is highlighted in the frequent moments in which Tina walks barefoot through the woodlands near her home. In a scene early in the film, Tina returns to her home from work and is met by her indifferent boyfriend and his anxious, growling dogs. With the air of routine, she walks swiftly through the house, slips off her shoes, and walks out into the trees. Where the soundtrack was previously overwhelmed by the aggrieved barking of the dogs, now it is gentle, quiet: Tina’s deep breath of relief is met by the sweet lark of a songbird, the crush of leaves as a wind pushes the branches of trees against one another, the crunch of footsteps on earth. The camera follows Tina, panning around until we see only her face, directed upwards to the sky, framing the dense woodlands behind her, dappled with sunlight. 

These moments of relief are dotted throughout the film, soft and gentle against the harshness of the human world: Tina naked in the still waters, her hand drifting at the surface, face toward the sky, the large surgical scar exposed at the base of her broad back; Tina encounters a large stag, who stills as she approaches, her hand reaching out to touch him, the camera cutting to a close-up of her hand as it runs through its coarse fur; Tina and Vore running naked, wild, free, through the woodlands with palpable expressions of joy; close-ups of Tina’s feet, barefoot, squelching through the wet moss that covers the woodland floor. Each of these moments adopt a poetic film form, a nonhuman phenomenology, highlighting the sensory experience of being a troll in the world, working to draw us into empathetic alignment with Tina’s body.


As Creed argues in Stray, it is by paying close attention to the “particularity of others” that spectators might become entangled in an empathy for the stray, for the marginalised figure.17 This is, for Creed and other scholars in Animal Studies, the starting point for an ethical obligation that humans owe to all animals (human and nonhuman). Anat Pick makes this point in her book Creaturely Poetics:

Embodiment undermines institutionalised speciesism in two ways: First, it provides a critical space for thinking of the human outside Cartesian abstractionism, as rigorously material. Second, embodiment makes for a different sort of aesthetics and ethics 18

Adopting Pick’s framework, Marta Segarra describes this as “creaturely poethics”— a term indebted Hélène Cixous’ discussion of poetic and ethical embodiment in literature. This is a poetic form that draws on the body of the author, addresses the body of the reader, to engage both in an ethical, affective, or political mode. Segarra highlights Cixous’ use of the animal in her discussion of this literary form. Cixous posits:

To write like an animal is to return to inhabiting one’s body most spontaneously. It is a matter of faire corps, which we do not always know how to do anymore, so much we are forced to discipline ourselves, […] You need a body that uses all its senses, that feels its heart beat, that follows the path of the blood under the skin, that follows the rhythm of the breath. […] A bit like a dog in nature: they do not trample it, they scratch it, smell it, listen to it.19

The poethical mode, then, is closely aligned with a creaturely, animal, embodiment. In translating this passage, Segarra emphasises the expression “faire corps”— to become one with your body—interpreting Cixous discussion of writing as the work of empathetic entanglement of the body. One writes with one’s whole body, to address the body of the reader.20 This is, Cixous argues, an ethical mode of address because the writer risks their own body in an expression that elicits empathetic response from the reader.21 The poethical mode, is expressly positioned as an embodied encounter in writing and reading the text. Cixous is focused on the feminine body, but the poethical mode is not about reducing such works to binaries of gender, or indeed to strictures of sexual anatomy, but instead to be drawn into an embodied, a libidinal, and sensory, economy of form which displaces and destabilises, as much as it also entangles the author and the reader in this writing.22 

This poethical mode of representing the body is also evident in cinema, where the syntax of film form create meaning in poetic and nonlinear ways. The soundtrack weaves with a tapestry of images to thread together a narrative, a psychological resonance with character, and often, to draw us into an embodied sensorium, as Vivian Sobchack famously put it.23 This poethical form is evident in Border from the outset of the film, drawing us in to inspect the insect pressed between Tina’s fingers, to feel its exoskeleton pressed against her skin, to smell the salt from the sea as the tide drags out. We are drawn into an entangled empathy with the body of this troll in a myriad of ways, from the soundtrack which is often close to her body, via the point of view cinematography, and significantly in Eva Melander’s performance of Tina. To prepare for the role, Melander adopted a weightlifting diet and exercise regime so that her body was physically thick and strong: troll-like. Though Melander’s face is layered with prosthetics, it is her body we see walking naked through the woodlands. It was with thought and care that she sculpted her body into something akin to an imagining of ‘troll body’, to bring us closer to Tina’s form and way of being in the world. It is her body that gives expression to the grief, the ecstasy, the anger, the hope, felt by Tina, and it is via her performance that spectators are invited to empathise with the plight of this marginalised figure. 

We are also drawn into a poethical entanglement when the film graphically depicts Tina’s sex organ. We discover her phallus in the same moment that she discovers it, and it is with shock and anticipation that she first puts it to use. The camera draws in so close to Tina’s face, and we are again, drawn into her animality as she experiences sexual pleasure for the first time. Her face contorts, snarls and growls, traits that resemble the expressions of animals during coitus. This moment is an imagining that blurs anatomical gendering, that makes nonsense of rigid cultural markers of sex and gender, already pointed to at the beginning of the film when Vore is mis-labelled trans by Tina’s colleague at Border Security. This scene, as with much of the film’s aesthetic form, works to draw us as spectators into an embodied animality, via the closely empathetic point-of-view cinematography. The effect is a poetic mode of address intended to elicit an ethical response from spectators.   

The film draws spectators towards an empathy with, and ethical obligation towards, all animals: human and nonhuman. Pick argues: “A creaturely ethics… lies in the recognition of the materiality and vulnerability of all living bodies, whether human or not, and in the absolute primacy of obligations over rights.”24 Similarly, in Creed’s discussion of the stray animal and entangled empathy, she writes: 

One way to live ethically in the Anthropocene is to imagine ourselves in the skin of the stray, to empathise with and stand alongside the marginalised, abandoned and homeless creatures, human and animal.25

Films like Border allow us to take this imaginative leap into nature, into the experiences of nonhuman animals, even if it is impossible to ever really know what it is to be animal, to be nonhuman: The point is that we try. Nonhuman imaginings allow spectators to engage in an empathetic act of projection. This mode of empathy acknowledges the impossibility of being the other, but also opens up space for affective, semiotic, poetic, and ethical resonances with the other. 

At the close of the film, Tina visits the unmarked graves of her parents, and other trolls who were detained and murdered as part of an ethnic cleansing committed against the species. She sits, alone, among the stones and weeps. The scene cuts. The film jumps forward in time. Tina’s house has fallen into disrepair, junk has piled up in the front yard where the weeds and bracken are overgrown. A wild fox jumps into her car which looks abandoned: the door is wide open, leaves piled inside, the bonnet covered in snow. Tina wanders, barefoot, in a white dress, her hair matted, her skin grubby from dirt. She forages before returning to the rewilded house. Her movement is slower, her body stooped, like she has stopped trying to walk like a human. A large package is sitting on her front porch. As she opens it, a closeup on Tina’s hands reveal dark yellowing fingernails, thick with dirt. Inside the package, Tina finds an infant, with similar facial features to her own. Her offspring with Vore. She holds the hairy infant aloft, its small tail visible. The camera cuts to a close-up on Tina’s face, her nostrils quivering as she sniffs the small creature. From the box Tina pulls a postcard from Finland: where Vore had told her a community of trolls lived freely. The camera cuts to a close-up on Tina’s hands as she gently lifts an insect from a branch, to feed the crying infant. 

The close of the film resonates with the words of Ian James, who argues that the call to return to the nonhuman, to respond to these ethical obligations, requires us to begin again with an ethical and empathic focus. He continues: 

Ultimately, what is at stake here is the possibility of a consistently egalitarian responsiveness to the undetermined nonhuman, the immanent real of all that is disclosed within the world and as the world or as the cosmos in general. To treat everything equally, humanity and animality for certain, but also everything else, a truly consistent starting point would be to admit that ultimately and in the last instance we do not know what we or they really are or mean. This is the nonhuman demand or the demand made by the nonhuman. Responding to this demand we can return to animals, human and nonhuman relations of all kinds, and start again.26 

In agreement with James, this essay argues that the call to return to the body of the nonhuman requires a kind of rethinking. It requires us to rethink the Anthropocene and to begin again with an ethical and empathic focus. Border allow for this kind of rethinking. By drawing us into an imagination of the ugly, marginalised nonhuman body, the film broaches ethical questions of human ugliness. Tina, who has allowed her home to be rewilded, who is shedding the performance of being human, abandoning the strictures of the Anthropocene, is sent a lifeline from Vore. The postcard is an invitation for her to begin anew with her species. The infant is a sign of hope for the species, a sign of futurity where she believed there was no future. As the film fades to black, the spectator is left to question the ways that they might begin anew, might rethink the hierarchies of the Anthropocene, might respond to their own empathetic entanglement with strays in the real world.


  1. Glenn Kenny, “Review: Sniffing Out Guilt in a Strangely Engaging Border,” New York Times, 25 October 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/25/movies/border-review.html
  2. Peter Bradshaw, “Border Review: Into the Woods for a Body-Horror Romance,” The Guardian, 7 March 2019
  3. Geoffrey Macnab, “Border review: Horror-arthouse Hybrid with a Special Creepiness,” The Independent, 6 March 2019.   https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/border-review-ali-abbasi-eva-melander-horror-arthouse-movie-john-ajvide-lindqvist-a8810141.html
  4. Howard Fishman, “I Accidentally Walked Into Border, and It Kind of Changed My Life” The New Yorker, 28 November 2018.
  5. See Macnab; Bradshaw; James Croot, Border: Swedish fantasy a challenging, confronting and occasionally compelling watch” Stuff, 12 February 2019. https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/film-reviews/110524713/border-swedish-fantasy-a-challenging-confronting-and-occasionally-compelling-watch ;  Richie Jenkins, “Identity and Belonging in Ali Abbasi’s BorderFilm Obsessive, 2020. https://filmobsessive.com/film/film-analysis/film-genres/world-cinema/identity-belonging-in-ali-abbasis-border/
  6. Gretchen E. Henderson, Ugliness: A Cultural History (London: Reaktion Books Ltd, 2015), 18.
  7. Henderson, 25.
  8. Henderson, 26.
  9. Via Henderson: Naomi Baker, Plain Ugly: The Unattractive Body in Early Modern Culture (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010), 7.
  10. Henderson, 13.
  11. Henderson, 13.
  12. Henderson, 13.
  13. Karl Rosenkranz, “Introduction” in Aesthetics of Ugliness: A Critical Edition, (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), 39.
  14. Rosenkranz, 39-40.
  15. Sonja Anderson, “In Defense of the Blobfish: The ‘World’s Ugliest Animal’ Is Our Fault”, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 September 2013. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/worlds-ugliest-animal-blobfish-6676336/
  16. Barbara Creed, Stray: Human–Animal Ethics in the Anthropocene, (Sydney, NSW: Power Publications, 2017), 122.
  17. Creed, 122.
  18. Anat Pick, Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), 6.
  19. Hélène Cixous, from ‘Interview with Thibaut Sardier’ translated by Marta Segarra, published in Libération, 3 April 2021.
  20. Marta Segarra, “Hélène Cixous’s Creaturely Poethics,” Word & Text: A Journal of Literary Studies & Linguistics 11 (2021), 56.
  21. Segarra, 56.
  22. See: Hélène Cixous, ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’, trans. Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen, Signs 1.4 (1976): 875-93.
  23. Vivian Sobchack, ‘What My Fingers Knew: The Cinesthetic Subject, or Vision in the Flesh,’ Senses of Cinema,  Issue 5 (2000).
  24. Pick, 7.
  25. Creed, 131.
  26. Ian James, “The Nonhuman Demand,” Paragraph, Volume 42 Issue 1, (2019), 19.

About The Author

Nonie May works as a Lecturer in Screen and Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research mobilises feminist approaches to traditional film theories, to examine poetic cinematic form as it engages the body. Her book Sight, Sound, Touch: The Sensory Child of Contemporary Cinema is forthcoming with Amsterdam University Press (2024). Her PhD dissertation, in Cinema Studies from the University of Melbourne, was nominated for the Vice Chancellor's Prize. Recent publications include a book chapter entitled ‘Written on the Body’ in The UnDead Child (Collected Edition, Ed. Debbie Olson & Craig Martin, 2024); and the prize-winning article ‘An Cailín Ciúin [The Quiet Girl]’ for Senses of Cinema (MIFF Dossier, 2022).

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