Troubled water

Troubled water

DVD - 2009 | Norwegian
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Troubled water: Jan, recently released from prison after serving time for the murder of a child, has always maintained his innocence and is ready to put the past behind him. A gifted organist, he takes a job at an Oslo church under his middle name, Thomas. His talent and gentle manner quickly earn him the respect of his superiors, as well as the love of the pastor, Anna, and her little boy, Jens. But his past catches up with him when Agnes, a local teacher, comes to the church on a school visit and recognizes the organist as Jan, the man who was convicted for the murder of her son. The Kolaborator: Goran, a promising young soccer player, is forced to become a soldier as the war in Yugoslavia begins. He is quickly transformed from a talented athlete into an executioner. But soon Goran must make the decision of his life when he is ordered to kill someone from his past.
Publisher: [New York] : Film Movement, c2009
ISBN: 9786313461806
Branch Call Number: TRO
Characteristics: 1 dvd (120 min.) : sd., col. ; 12 cm
Alternative Title: Kolaborator. [dvd]


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Nov 09, 2016

a good drama

May 10, 2015

Several years after he was convicted of drowning a four-year old child during a botched robbery, twenty-something Jan Hansen is finally released from prison. Finding work as a church organist Jan (now calling himself Thomas) starts to rebuild his life, even forming a romantic liaison with the resident pastor Anna, a single mother with intimacy issues of her own. But the past does not rest so easily in Jan’s mind for despite his insistence that his partner in crime committed the actual murder he is still plagued by guilt and it doesn’t help that Anna’s son looks exactly like the dead child. Anna, in the meantime, unaware of Jan’s past but sensing his troubled spirit tries her best to comfort him with all the usual rhetoric about God’s infinite love and forgiveness. And then one day Jan is recognized by Agnes, the dead boy’s mother, and her revelations threaten to topple his already tenuous peace. Intimately photographed (scenes of Agnes in a swimming pool are juxtaposed with images of her dead child floating downriver with heartbreaking effect) and buoyed by a glorious soundtrack of organ solos which run the gamut from Bach to Simon & Garfunkel, Erik Poppe’s three-handed rumination on the nature of remorse and forgiveness certainly doesn’t lack ambition. When Jan’s crushing sense of regret comes up against Agnes’ unresolved grief—having never confronted him in court she’s never been able to move on—you know you’re in for an emotional showdown of monumental proportions that not even Anna’s well-meaning platitudes can pave over. Besides, when the truth finally comes out and Anna’s own son is unexpectedly put in a precarious situation the otherwise benevolent pastor suddenly finds those “words of comfort” somewhat difficult to swallow. Where the film suffers however is with Poppe’s lack of subtlety: Jan goes by his middle name Thomas, and he doubts the existence of God (get it?); water, the universal symbol of absolution, practically drenches every scene whether it’s a spilled cup, a gentle downpour, or a raging rapid; and a heavily staged final scene of (watery) atonement pushes the envelope right off the table. But, in spite of these glaring faults, this is still a deeply felt and beautifully constructed piece with a star cast (Trine Dyrholm as Agnes makes you feel every tear) and a cleverly looped storyline that backspaces even as it moves relentlessly forward.

Nov 10, 2012

Troubled water, troubled characters, and troubling moral and ethical questions dealing with themes of honesty, guilt, justice, retribution, forgiveness, etc., for the viewer. // Nicely filmed and well acted. We see the story evolve through the eyes of both the kidnapper and the grieving mother. Initially, we mostly see his viewpoint of past (through brief flashbacks) and current events. Then, we see her perspective on the same situations. Eventually, these two paths collide as the story reaches its climax. // Unless you have a strong aversion to subtitled films, it's well worth the time.

Jun 30, 2011

Another beautiful Norwegian film. Erik Poppe is a gifted director with wonderful performances, lovely cinematography, and excellent music to create this powerful story.

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