Thomas Logoreci
Filmmaker, writer and sometime festival programmer living in Tirana, Albania.

Norwegian filmmaker recreates five days inside the rebel space jump.

Drib

Kristoffer Borgli

Norway 2017, 1h 28min

It’s possible you might have seen the video work of Amir Asgharnejad on YouTube. In 2014, the Iranian-born, Norwegian underground stand-up comedian uploaded a hugely popular two minute clip in which he’s seen threatening an oversize Oslo bouncer with a baseball bat. A moment later, the tables are turned and the bouncer knocks Amir out cold with a single, bloody punch.

Amir’s video was the first in a series of subsequent stunts that, in reality (whatever that means anymore), were entirely faked. Amir Asgharnejad is a performance artist, drawing on the tradition of dangerous provocation espoused by his supposedly dead hero, Andy Kaufman. As the videos racked up millions of hits, the mischievous Asgharnejad downplayed the fakery while generating plenty of press coverage from Vice to the BBC.

Yet even Amir was surprised when he was approached by a leading advertising agency and asked to be a pitch man for a leading energy drink. Deciding to play along, Asgharnejad agreed to the offer and was flown out to Los Angeles. Unaware that the videos were a prank, the ad agency floated a fakery of their own: an edgy campaign featuring Asgharnejad’s violent beat down’s which would be withdrawn then leaked to the unsuspecting media. Ironically, after spending a semi-chaotic week in California, the plug was pulled on the bogus marketing plan and Amir was flown home to Norway minus his promised salary.

Despite signing a non-disclosure agreement with the agency, Amir was coaxed to recreate his week in California by Norwegian writer and director Kristoffer Borgli. To avoid legal action, Borgli has renamed the unnamed energy drink, DRIB, which is also the title of this documentary and fiction hybrid, his feature debut. DRIB purports to take us into the corporate universe of commercial branding and public relations manipulation and, by extension, inside the fifty billion dollar a year energy drink industry.

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