Wretchedness

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Waiting by the canal, a young cellist meets a junkie, high and drifting. He gives him twenty krona and they exchange a few words; the encounter is unremarkable. Yet for the cellist – who grew up a poor immigrant in the outskirts of Malmö, and who lost friends and family to drug abuse, crime and death – a barrier in his mind has collapsed, and he leaves the canal chased by a creeping floodtide of memories, all of which threaten to drag him back to where he came from. Tearing through sprawling social housing estates, basement clubs and squat parties, Wretchedness is a tumultuous and raging journey into the underbelly of Europe. With a rhythmic, mesmerising flow, Tichý probes the bittersweet pleasures of escaping one’s origins, and of loving one’s neighbour without question – even when that neighbour is an addict, a criminal, wretched.