As It Is in Heaven ( Så som i Himmelen ) [DVD]
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Sweden released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: Swedish ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Swedish ( Dolby Surround ), Danish ( Subtitles ), English ( Subtitles ), Finnish ( Subtitles ), Norwegian ( Subtitles ), Swedish ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes, Deleted Scenes, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: A successful international conductor suddenly interrupts his career and returns alone to his childhood village in Norrland, in the far north of Sweden. It doesn't take long before he is asked to come and listen to the fragment of a church choir, which practices every Thursday in the parish hall. Just come along and give a little bit of good advice. He can't say no, and from that moment, nothing in the village is the same again. The choir develops and grows. He makes both friends and enemies. And he finds love. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: European Film Awards, Oscar Academy Awards, ...As It Is in Heaven ( Så som i Himmelen ) ( As in Heaven )
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Watching it is a spiritual journey. I was moved by the protagonist's quest to find and arouse the individual note in each person singing in his choir, and to compose a piece of music which would open the hearts. I know people who went back to the cinema for 8 nights in a row, when it opened in Germany, and it has become a cult movie in New Zealand and Australia.
The cold Swedish landscape is a wonderful counterpoint to the heartwarming experience of watching damaged human beings bloom into ripeness through the healing power of love and singing.
It portrays the story of a rare personality who selflessly and with love transforms the hearts and minds of a whole group of people (not unlike personalities at the birth of some religions)
A nice 'best of' can be found on YouTube (As it is in heaven - Gabriella's song)
I won't go into the story here, but it'is one of my all-time favorite films. I love arthouse films, and Scandinavian cinema in particular. But unlike many great Scandinavian arthouse films, this one avoids being bleak and gloomy. It's a very uplifting little film, but with a poignant side to it as well. The acting is very natural, and the actress playing the young women Lena made me almost fall in love with her, so headstrong but also so vulnerable. Michael Niqvist is a well-known Swedish actor for those familiar with Scandinavian cinema and series like Wallander, and in the part of the famous conductor Michael, who after a serious burn-out returns to the quiet little Swedish village he grew up in and takes over the failing church choir, he shines again.
A feel-good movie with a difference, in being Swedish and having an unconventional ending. But a feel-good movie nonetheless, one I will re-watch again and again. It's beyond me that there seems to be no English dubbed version around. I feel blessed to have been able to see, and then buy, it with Dutch subtitles as I love listening to Swedish (it adds a whole new layer to the experience that would be completely missed when dubbed). I hope sincerely for all you UK fans of this that such a release will come out sometime in the future. I can;t see why or how this film has been so overlooked in the UK, when it was a huge hit in other countries.
Possibly because of the language problem, it did make the whole thing quite a uniquely different film-watching experience,(not nec.a bad thing) but it really reached out to me about finding, expressing and being brave enough to live your truth...
Would love to watch it again - this time understanding the words though.
Maybe there's someone out there who can tell me how I might get hold of an English transcript of the script?!
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