Skyggen af Emma (1988)
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I always hope that there will be a dvd version so that I can keep it for ever. Surely I will pass it to my children and hopefully grandchildren.
Don't miss it if you come across it.
I did read one critic, somewhere, who thought this movie was unrealistic, asking what planet this story must be from to even be possible. But wait, during my college days, wasn't the country this very film is from one of those countries where murders and handgun killing numbers were being compared to the American numbers, like in 1978 in the U.S., 15,000 were killed, in Sweden, 6, France 9, yes, Finland, like 2 or something, so yes, these planets do exist, right here on earth, even today, although increasingly rare. There still exist even cities that house relatively peaceful cultures were this story could just as well be based on a true story. The movie is set in one of those foreign cities where people could actually memorize the names of everybody murdered in their country last year, because the list is just that short! I seem to remember a time in the mid 1960's when places in the US were still this peaceful and trusting, people leaving their house doors unlocked all day, nobody knowing where the kids were at until they came home at sundown, and so on. This movie is just set in one of those sorts of cities, a planet, or world rather, right here on earth, that does exist. One of a few such cities were this story would be very possible, just exactly as it is. So, why not just enjoy the beautiful story for just what it is, rather than doubting it even possible, and assuming it just can't be possible, because there no way that we can stop being suspicious of certain classes of people enough to just believe that people, even young people, could form a connection of trust and friendship with them. Seems to me when I was a young child, most of us tikes had our favorite old people we actually liked and enjoyed seeing. I just believe this movie, and I love it.
I just want to know, am I going to have to keep my VHS player, just because they won't put it on DVD for me?
The story begins with a bratty 11 year-old (Emma) being ignored by her self-involved mother. As her family is rich, Emma decides to fake her own kidnapping. And I liked it when it becomes apparent just how indifferent Mom is and how apparently decent Dad is--though because he works so hard he finally realizes he's taken his little girl for granted. I liked the basic plot so far.
However, what do you do with a little girl? Any place she hides in the city, people are bound to recognize her or at least ask her where she lives. After all, an 11 year-old can't just wander the streets indefinitely. This is where the plot all falls apart for me. A lonely sewer worker takes her in and believes, at least at first, her ridiculous story. He never checks this out for himself but allows her to stay there for several days!! Huh?! Then, she collects the ransom money (with the assistance of some neighbor boys) and takes them all to stay at the fanciest hotel in town and live like royalty?! And STILL no questions? Ultimately, the man is arrested because they think HE kidnapped Emma. But, in the end she tells the truth and everyone is apparently satisfied!! Talk about contrived! This could never happen on any planet I have ever visited!!