Nashville Scene

DIRECTED BY: Bille August

REVIEWED: 08-03-98

Luckily for director Bille August, he had this religious drama in the can when he started working on the patently ridiculous Smilla's Sense of Snow. Clearly, this true story is also the more personal one, relating the impact of religious dissent on two young lovers in a rural Swedish community at the turn of the 20th century. The small town of Ingmargaden is split when a fundamentalist preacher (Sven-Bertil Taube) leads a band of emigrant settlers to Palestine to prepare for the Second Coming. Meanwhile, August gives history a human face by focusing on Gertrud (Maria Bonnevie), whose beloved Ingmar (Ulf Friberg) abandons her to keep his family's farm and to keep his hold on what's left of the community. In the same way that Gertrud interprets this romantic betrayal as a sign from God, Jerusalem unleashes various natural disasters that simultaneously punctuate the melodrama and hint at divine intervention.

--Rob Nelson

Capsule Reviews

Other Films by Bille August
Les Miserables
Smilla's Sense of Snow

Film Vault Suggested Links
My Mother's Courage
Les Milles
Pretty Village, Pretty Flame

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