As It Is in Heaven

JayFlix folks strike again. I've been waiting for this Swedish film "Så som i himmelen" to show up ever since I got a rave review from one of you in Europe over a year ago. I bought this DVD from Kino, which sells collectibles, but it may also be on Netflix or its equivalent.

Let's talk about it. When you were in grade school were you the bully-er or the bully-ee? Yeah, I know I made up both of those words, but you get the idea. Where in the bullying spectrum were you? Dishing it out? Taking it? Or a silent witness....

This wonderful Swedish film (English captions) is about bullying in childhood and the scars that linger into adulthood. It is also about bigotry, provincialism, and shattered dreams. But WAIT! Before you shy away, let me add it is also about renewed hope, the healing power of love and the joy of community.

My current heartthrob Michael Nyqvist ("The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," etc...) is a celebrated orchestra conductor. He is, however, felled by a tricky heart which has forced him to an early retirement. Rather than rest on his laurels on the Mediterranean or a similar life of ease, he chooses instead, to return to his old hometown (the scene of his childhood misery), knowing that no one will recognize his new name, his new persona or his new attitude. He buys the abandoned grade school building and moves in.

First thing he knows, the local pastor calls on him; he is given a complimentary bible and an invitation to be the church cantor. He apologizes and explains that he is only there to listen, not to get involved in music.

Well, one thing leads to another...you know how these things go. And before you know it, we are acquainted with many of the small town personalities: the local bully and his battered wife, the punctilious preacher and his frustrated frau, the local slut, the town "retard," the current choir mistress, the elderly singers, etc., etc., etc. By this time, I was smugly certain I had it all figured out, but I was wrong.

Help yourself to a smörgåsbord of unexpected pleasures.