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Harry's Daughters (2005)
"Harrys döttrar" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  21 October 2005 (Sweden)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 157 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

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Title: Harry's Daughters (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Marie
Amanda Ooms ...
Ninni
...
Erik
Peter Gardiner ...
Jonas
Iwar Wiklander ...
Harry
Charlotta Larsson ...
Barnmorskan
Anna Björk ...
Prästen
Jan Waldekranz ...
Läkaren
Magnus Ehrner ...
Psykologen
Ellen Mattsson ...
Assistenten (as Ellen Mattson)
Maria Lindström ...
Barnvakten
...
Mamman
Anders Kjellstrand ...
Harry som ung
Salka Backman ...
Marie som ung
Amanda Pettersson ...
Ninni som ung
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21 October 2005 (Sweden)  »

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Harry's Daughters  »

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1.85 : 1
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Engaging psycho-drama with thriller elements - a fine balancing act
8 September 2006 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

As the title suggests, this title is basically a story about two women: Marie and Ninni, who, at the start of the film, are both very pregnant, looking forward to becoming mothers together.

** Slight spoiler alert **

Needless to say, things don't go according to plan. Ninni's baby is discovered - in a routine checkup - to have died in utero. Marie, in contrast, gives birth to a healthy young lad. Conflicting emotions torment both the sisters: joy and guilt, mourning and jealousy. Soon, Marie becomes suspicious of the attentions her sister is giving the child, and senses something sinister at work. As relationships frazzle, older family secrets bubble to the surface. If everything happens for a reason, can the death of a baby be a catalyst for a greater healing?

** Spoilers end **

Obviously, a film of this kind is not going to be easy going, though a fairly wide range of emotions are involved, and the ending is strangely uplifting. Marie and Ninni are both rounded, but frail, human beings. (It also helps that they are very well acted.) Their respective husbands - who are also given considerable screen time - support them as best they can, juggling their spouses' problems with work commitments. And Harry, the father of the title, tries his best to keep things together as issues from his own past surface.

Rather than a straight drama, a few thriller elements have been worked into the plot without the movie drifting over into simple thriller territory either. It is a balancing act that is well achieved by the director. The use of flashbacks and the representation of subjective reality is also well done, contributing to the total effect of the tale.

I must say that I watched this movie with little foreknowledge, and was pleasantly surprised. It took me to places I hadn't expected it to take me, and mixed genres in an interesting way. A couple of notches above standard family dramas, it is definitely worth a watch.


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