A true pearl of a film on agony, the will to live and weltschmertz
Whilst many people may not comprehend this film or even the idea of it, it is, pardon my subjectivity, quite simply a masterpiece which only can be compared to some of the greatest films ever made.
If you're looking for action or even an apparent meaning/storyline in a film maybe you shouldn't watch this one for then you'll get sadly disappointed.
The film itself is made in black and white which also places great emphazis on the storyline itself; actually it's quite seldomly seen that a film benefits from the b/w effect but this surely does.
The story isn't just the ordinary "he says this and she replies that". It has a true depth, a meaning, that you'll have to be ready to understand before you even consider watching it. It's not just a film you would want to watch when your friends come over for coffee!
As mentioned it doesn't have an apparent meaning, - at first!.
However as the film and thus the storyline reveals itself we're taken into a world of one single mans incomprehensible pain and agony all beginning when he loses as well his wife and newly born child. We follow him and his mental state of mind through more than 70 yrs.
The film itself shows a man in apparent decay as well mental as physical but at the end we may come to the conclusion that he actually was "the normal one" in this film compared to those who surround him; for instance the psychiatrist of the nursing home he ends up at (greatly played by danish filmdiva Gitta Nørby) who directly says that after 40 yrs. of having treated him she simply hates him.
We also follow the other people around him in the village where he lived. A village of simple but good people who somehow just showed out not being able to cope with a man in that deep agony and "welt-schmertz"; even the local pastor gives up. To them he is just a lunatic.
An interesting feature of this film is also that it makes us consider how we ourselves would have reacted being for instance bystanders to such a tragedy as the one depicted. Would we have done something; are are we the ones pointing fingers at the local people as we watch this film?
It's not a film with a lot of dialogue but that is indeed the art of this film; it simply doesn't need more words.
As such I wouldn't personally name it as an experimental film or even an intellectual one but it's simply different. It's not a "Blockbuster hit" and it's definately never meant to be. It's a film in its own right, a pearl which could be one of the very few "real" films we find in the world of today. The only films in the same genre with the same "realness" are the films of Aki Kaurismäki which are, from my point of view, what film is all about.
There's naturally one annoying thing for our english speaking audience; you cannot see it without subtitles since it's in Danish which of course limits the amount of people who could be interested in watching such a film. That however is the same with most other films made in what english speaking people seem to call as "foreign languaged" films. One can wonder that the same people apparently never consider that we "foreign people" continuously are surrounded by the english language. ;-)
But back to the film. Indeed it demands a lot of the viewer but if you take the time and bother to watch it it's worthwhile to watch and one thing is for sure;if you've watch it you will definately never forget it.
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