The Swedish landscape is heartrendingly beautiful in this light-toned silent film. Sjostrom creates a nice little piece, with clear political intent - often missed in commentary inside class-blind USA - sensitively carried by the well-worked plot of maiden's idyll betrayed. The same falls in love with her employer's son, whom his father then sends away, one infers - the audience of the time would at any rate - in order to end the socially inappropriate relationship, but in fact so that he may use his power to take advantage of her, by force. She and her aged father are summarily dismissed; taken in by a wealthy patron, when he dies his family casts her out, into the demimonde (note her cigarette!) of the overclass' student life. A final set piece has her body, strewn with thorn roses, accusing the cause of her ruin.
The plot is incomplete, and these short moral films are not in fashion now, to say the least; but well worth seeing, in the context of retrospectives of Sjostrom's excellent work.
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