Director: Jan Troell
Cast: Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt, Jesper Christensen
Sweden, the first two decades of the twentieth century: in between being brutalised by her husband and bearing him numerous children, a docker's wife discovers a gift for photography, and through the generous patronage of the local studio proprietor quietly practises her art.
Episodic but intimate and potent story of an unsung artist, an ordinary woman who endures and is a rock to her family, but who also has in her something special, a way of seeing the world. The director chooses close-ups, sepia browns and a pared down mise-en-scène to convey the hardships of the period, while the photographer's studio is a haven of soft, diffused light. Having one of those especially destructive relationships with the bottle, the husband is doubly schizophrenic, gentle towards his horses but prepared to flog his own family. The film is told from the perspective of the eldest daughter.