Everlasting Moments


Movie Review by Harriet Robbins

Jan Troell, the Swedish director whose film The Emigrants starring Liv Ullman received five Oscar nominations in 1971, comes through with a winner again with EVERLASTING MOMENTS, which is based on the true story of a working-class wife and mother in the early 1900s who discovered an aptitude for photography when she won a camera in a lottery. This was in Malmo, Sweden--the years before and after WW I.

As time passes we see what should have been a happy marriage turn into an abusive hell owing to her husband's drinking, philandering and dubious political activities, all of which bring grief to Maria Larsson and her children. However, things take a turn for the better when, while trying to sell the camera, she meets Mr. Pedersen, owner of the local photography shop, who provides her with instruction and equipment which enable her to take pictures on her own.

This opens a new world for Maria, who has a natural talent and curiosity that enables her to see the magic in the working-class neighborhood in which she lives. There is a gentleness and beauty in photography that is an antidote to the otherwise harsh life she and her children lead. Also important to her is the understated relationship to the shop owner; their emotional involvement is restrained but still becomes an integral part of the story.

This unforgettable film provides a revealing glimpse into the soul of a person whose undying spirit and resolve help her to overcome difficult and punishing obstacles in life. Maria Heiskanen as Maria and Jesper Christensen as the shop owner are the superb lead actors in EVERLASTING MOMENTS. The film is an IFC release.