The beginning of the 20th century. Gertrud and Ingmar are in love with each other. While Ingmar is away during the winter, a religious wave spreads in the area. Also Gertrud becomes a ... See full summary »
The beginning of the 20th century. Gertrud and Ingmar are in love with each other. While Ingmar is away during the winter, a religious wave spreads in the area. Also Gertrud becomes a follower of the new Christian belief. The new priest is very mesmerizing and he wants his followers to emigrate with him to Palestine. Ingmar's sister decides to follow him and sells the home which has been the family's for centuries. The only way for Ingmar to save it is to marry the daughter of the man who buys it, Barbro. With Ingmar married to another, Gertrud cannot stay and follows the others to Palestine. However, Ingmar does not love Barbro. He is still in love with Gertrud and eventually follows her. Written by
The film is based on a novel by Selma Lagerlof and itself is indeed a magnificent epic of a Scandinavian spirit, though not that naive in its approach as one finds in, say, some famous epic movies based on Scottish history. In my eyes the film is a revelation of a fragile human story, full of obstacles and hard days, proceeded by a careful, attentive eye, and smooth in a sense that the sequence of events do not overshadow each other but rather form a nice waving flow, thus sustaining intensity not in separate scenes but rather as a whole, where each moment is masterfully organized. Also, though dealing with difficult issues, the film sees people not as a collection of scenes of despair, but as a continuous spirit, worth of admiration after all.
If you want an entertaining film in the narrow sense then I suggest this is not the right one to choose and you might be disappointed. Else, go and see it, it is rewarding in a sense of how much attention and openness you can give to it, a film its director Bille August did not manage to overtake by now, despite his expensive Hollywood attempts.
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