Everlasting Moments (2008), Dir. Jan Troell

Maria (Maria Heiskanen) finds a new purpose in life in taking pictures

Rating: 10/10

I watched this Swedish film, courtesy of Love Film, in a bid to watch more Scandinavian films and  was very glad I did. The  film-based on a true story ans set in the early 1900s-looks at the life of working-class housewife Maria Larsson (Maria Heiskanen) and her family, which consists of her violent and heavy drinking dock worker husband Sigfrid (Mikael Persbrandt), her loyal daughter Maja (Callin Ohrvall, Nellie Almgren) who also narrates the film and her three sons, Erik (who dies tragically  early from polio), Elon and Seven and two daughters Stina and Anna. When Maria wins a camera in a lottery and is persuaded by the genial local camera shop owner Sebastien Pedersen (Jesper  Christensen) to keep it, despite the protests of her husband who wants to sell it, Maria’s life is transformed by her natural talent as a photographer.

The film is then also a tribute to the early pioneering days of photography when people were first starting to realise that money could be made from good photographs and that photographs provided an important lasting record of the times. Appropriately enough the film is beautifully shot by Troell and co-cinematographer Mischa Gavrjusjov  who frame people in slow languid takes and capture the period in precise detail, taking in the extremities of rural green landscapes, bare fading cottages and bustling sawdust strewn and smoke-filled docks  and busy streets.

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