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A Film Diary

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It pains me to say this about Mark Cousins, a man whose enthusiasm with regards to cinema is second to none, but this psychogeographical piece about Stockholm lacks the insight with regards to quotidian life, as well as the empathy with people and humour, that made last year’s I Am Belfast such an enjoyable treat to watch. To be fair, he obviously hasn’t set out to make the same film again, though this is a kind of ‘sister’ work, given that it too features a woman (in this case Neneh Cherry) who acts as a kind of tour guide for people who know that a city’s heart and soul and life and stories all lie beyond familiar tourist hotspots. I’m not sure if she is supposed to represent Stockholm in the same way that Helena Bereen represented Cousins’ home in that earlier mix of fiction and non-fiction, but watching Cherry walking around and discussing her memories is captivating enough, even though I felt a building frustration that the filmmaker wasn’t quite getting to grips with the city itself. But it has its moments, if you’re in the right mood. (**½)