Confrontation between a young neo-Nazi and a Jewish doctor
A chilling, breathtaking, frightening film. A great psychological drama, about a young Swedish neo-nazi, who has been beaten up by other neo-nazis and hides from them in a train. In there, he catches the attention of an older Jewish doctor, Jacob, who notices that Soren ( the neo-nazi ) is injured and invites him to come to his practice to treat him. I found it so very touching that this Jewish man, with all his horrible memories( his entire family died in Auschwitz ), offers his help to this young man, even though he undoubtably must have noticed that it is a neo-nazi, with obviously the anti-Semetic ideas of this movement.
Soren visites the practice, and is invited by Jacob to visit him in his home. Jacob has noticed that this young man has deep-seeded problems, and is fascinated by the reasons and motivations for his ( racial-) hatred and aggressive behaviour.
Then we see a series of 'sessions' in which Jacob learns more about Soren and Soren's background, and Soren in return learns more about Jacob, his terrible losses during World War II, and the true meaning of what happened to the Jews in the camps. In the beginning, Soren is very aggressive and doesn't believe a thing Jacob is trying to tell him. He mocks at him, makes anti-Semitic remarks, threatens him and tries to justify his racialistic ideas and hostile acts towards immigrants.
But slowly, they begin to respect and understand each other, and Soren begins to see that his troubled youth might have something to do with his aggressive behaviour, and that his ideas about Jews, homosexuals and immigrants may not be entirely true or justified after all. Soren doesn't really express his newly gained insights in so many words, but in the end ( when they meet in a train again ), he sits next to Jacob, and smiles at him in a friendly way.
Most of the scenes were shot in a livingroom in Jacob's own home. There are only two important characters, Jacob and Soren. There is no great soundtrack, no special effects, no beautiful sets or locations, but still this is one of the best ( if not THE best ) films I have ever seen. The ongoing conversation between these two opposite characters - one full of kindness and compassion and understanding, the other full of hatred and deep-buried sorrow and pain - is absolutely poignant to watch. There are a number of talking-sessions in which you get some understanding in Jacob's own youth ( through beautifully shot black-and-white scenes of his flight to Sweden with his mother as a young boy ), and in other scenes some insight in Sorens life as a violent neo-nazi and of his troubled childhood with a dominant, violent and abusive father.
Both the actors are really great, and act in such a pure, natural way that I sometimes had the feeling that I was actually watching a real-life documentary with real people who had been through everything that is told in the movie. I found it sometimes very difficult to keep up with and understand Soren's twisted way of thinking, but the conversations never became to difficult or to winded to fail in holding my complete attention.
A chilling, horrific, beautiful, impressive, frightening and sorrowful film. I was still shivering hours later..............I give it 10 out of 10 !
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