Snapshots: Drib

The 2017 film Drib, which I just discovered the other day, is the debut from Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli. On the surface, it’s a documentary about a performance artist (Amir Asgharnejad, who plays himself) and an ad campaign that he worked on with an American energy drink company. Supposedly, the energy drink company hired Amir to do fake violent ads for them, since he had gone viral for creating fake but realistic violent videos. But for legal reasons, Kristoffer and his documentary crew couldn’t use the name of the energy drink company, so they invented their own fake brand: Drib.

Amidst the shock comedy and ruthless attack on greedy ad agencies, you start to wonder: did this actually happen, or is this just another of Amir’s pranks? His story seems almost too outlandish to be true – and conveniently, the energy drink company never ran the ads, not to mention he signed an NDA. So there’s no way to corroborate his story. We also have moments of Kristoffer’s documentary crew appearing to abuse Amir, as well as outtakes of Amir comically changing the script, much to the crew’s annoyance.

By the end, when we see a blatant ad for Drib, it seems clear that this whole documentary is, in fact, just a meta-commentary on how Hollywood and ad agencies use artists to make a profit. More likely than not, this is another of Amir’s performance pieces, and Kristoffer is not only in on the joke, but he’s collaborating with Amir every step of the way. Even so, it’s a memorable art installation/prank/commentary/whatever you want to call it, and without exaggeration, I can safely say that I’ve never seen anything quite like it.