Sunday, March 8, 2009

Everlasting Moments

A Swedish foreign film based on photography.

Since foreign films never come to Paris and very very few are on the shelves at the video store, I really like perusing the foreign movie advertisements in the Arts & Leisure section in the New York Times (NYT).

In the Sunday, March 1, 2009 edition of the NYT a foreign film advertisement titled Everlasting Moments peaked my interest. This movie is based on a true story that centers on photography.

I googled the film and found out that the film follows the story of Maria (Maria Heiskanen), who is married to an alcoholic and womanizing dockworker (Mikael Persbrandt). Her husband leaves the worries of family responsibilities entirely to Maria. Her situation is desperate until she meets a camera shop owner (Jesper Christensen) who encourages her to start taking and developing photographs. She soon begins to see the world in new ways that threaten her already perilous situation.

In the Los Angeles Times review of the movie, Kenneth Turan, Film Critic, writes that Everlasting Moments was the 2009 winner of five prizes at Sweden's academy awards, including best picture. Turan states that "Everlasting Moments" is a rich, intensely human story that deals with the mysteries of creativity and love and the pain and joy of relationships.

Maria sees magic through her Contessa camera, won in a lottery soon after she meets her future husband. She is so caught up in her hard life with her spouse and their ever-increasing family that she more or less forgets she owns it.Due to a fiscal crisis, Maria considers selling the camera. She nervously visits the local photography shop but the shop owner has other ideas. He shows Maria how to use the camera, gives her supplies and gets her involved in the gentle art of taking pictures. "It's our secret," he tells her conspiratorially, and so it for a time remains. Echoing the way photographs are developed in the darkroom, only gradually does picture taking make changes in Maria's life, only little by little does she accept that she has "the gift of seeing" and, in Pedersen's words, "if you're a person who sees, you have no choice but to do so."

Sure wish I could see the film.

Copyrighted Pictures

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