VSL// See a fake family live in a real Ikea—and laugh

We’ve probably all spent way too much time in Ikea (to say nothing of the lost hours it takes to assemble its furniture), but how long can you secretly film there before being thrown out? And how much is our identity influenced by our surroundings? These are just two of the questions incisively posed by the intelligent and funny short film Stealing Beauty.

Guy Ben-Ner’s clever short (you can get the gist in this four-minute clip), in which he, his wife and their children play re-imagined versions of themselves, was filmed in Ikea stores in Berlin, New Jersey and Tel Aviv. It opens with Ben-Ner stalking through the store’s prepackaged, prêt à vivre bedrooms in search of his wife, channeling Waiting for Godot with a sprinkling of customer service announcements. As the film develops, small dramas lead to the magnification of the minutiae of family life. Watch it for the surrealism and slapstick humor, and for the way the excellent script skillfully looks for humor in questions of identity and self-determination.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. VSL// See a fake family live in a real Ikea—and laugh