Film: Everlasting Moments
Cast includes: Maria Heiskanen, Jasper Christensen
Genre: Drama, Swedish with subtitles
In brief: It’s the early 1900s. In voice over, Maja tells us that her father bought her mother, Maria, a lottery ticket for a camera. When ticket won, her father thought the camera should be his because he bought the ticket. “Mother told him that if he wanted the camera, he’d have to marry her.” When we catch up with Maria and Sigfrid, the scene is anything but loving. Sigfrid’s an alcoholic, and a violent one at that. When Maria tries to leave Sigfrid, her father is unsympathetic, reminding her that her vows were “until death do you part.” And we wonder if death might soon be at the hands of her alcoholic husband. Times are tough and money is tight. Maria decides to take the camera to Pedersen’s Photography Studio and try to sell it. But Mr. Pedersen tells her she should try using the camera before she decides to sell it. He takes her picture… “Piff Paff Puff.” (Translation: 1, 2, 3, smile.) As it turns out Maria has “a way of seeing that not everyone possesses.”
Rather than making a dedicated effort to develop her special talent, Maria stumbles on roadblocks at every turn… an angry husband, more children and family demands. Years often go by without even looking at the camera. Yet Maria always returns to photography, and her abilities grow. Following her dream is a painfully slow and complicated process.
The look of this film reminds us of early 20th century photographs. Every scene feels like an old photo… with beautiful desaturated, slightly sepia images. But ultimately, the photography theme becomes a lens for us to view the struggle of an early feminist. While Maria never has an unfettered exhilarating breakthrough, her imperceptibly small steps do bring her closer to her dream.
2 popped kernels
Popped kernels for the good story with historic interest, good acting and production values.