A chilling experience of the Back Death, first hand
When I first saw this film, several years ago, I realised after the first 10 minutes that I was in for something special: a single person's growing awareness of the horror and nature of the plague. We watch as it transforms the human landscape - physical, social and emotional - calling into question people's humanity itself as individuals and communities try to deal with something they can't understand. In the time it is set they have very inadequate tools, religion being the worst of them with medicine (this was the bloodletting era) not far behind. The atmosphere festers with foreboding. One after another, human tragedies unfold as Hanna journeys from her children and their isolated rural (and walled) hamlet to meet her husband (Ulf's) ship on its return from the crusades. After 4 lonely years Hanna, feeling her youth and beauty are behind her, has mixed emotions about the reunion. This is, naturally, compounded by the surreal landscape and the crazed communities she passes through. Watch this film and decide for yourself whether it's boring or disappointing. For my part I saw it again recently. For the second time I was moved, held in thrall, and entertained.
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