“Something is terribly wrong,” mutters the beautiful Laura Foster part way through Low-Flying Aircraft, ominously delivering the understatement of the film. Laura and her husband André live in a world governed by an Orwellian dictatorship known as the Confederation. Births require a ‘Fit for Life’ license and ‘illegally’ pregnant women are arrested by gangs of armed guards. Only genetically perfect babies are acceptable, but Laura endures her pregnancy in private, after having what her husband describes as “six… interruptions”. A mysterious doctor informs her that the baby in her womb is perfect, but slowly, shockingly, it emerges that Laura could be carrying “a monster”, a creature as grotesque as the world it will be entering.
Low-Flying Aircraft is based on the JG Ballard story of the same name. Director Solveig Nordlung ensures the setting is more naturalistic and recognisable than the steel world where the original tale is set, and this blending of familiar sights – decrepit hotels, clear blue swimming pools and polluted beaches – heightens the horror of the differences which define this nightmarish vision of the future. The film is shot with flair and imagination by Nordlung, who confidently blends elements of science fiction, horror and a love story to fashion a powerful but surprisingly warm parable. He’s ably assisted by Margarida Marinho as Laura, who delivers an entrancing and credible performance. –BBC