Norwegian helmer Petter Naess ("Elling") traveled to Stockholm to direct this charming but not very substantial kidpic. "Leaps and Bounds" deals with questions of immigration in reverse: A Kurdish boy ends up in Sweden against his will and only wants to leave the country and be reunited with his parents.

Norwegian helmer Petter Naess (“Elling”) traveled to Stockholm to direct this charming but not very substantial kidpic. “Leaps and Bounds” deals with questions of immigration in reverse: A Kurdish boy ends up in Sweden against his will and only wants to leave the country and be reunited with his parents. Pic has enough smarts to be a modest local hit and receive invitations to kidfests.

Azad (newcomer Ali Ali) lives with his family in Kurdistan and loves high-jumping; after nearly being killed, Azad and his brother are sent away with a family that’s emigrating to Sweden. In the end, they stay with the family in a Stockholm refugee apartment. When a local kid introduces Azad to the high-jump team at school, Ali astonishes everybody with his skills,but runs into the problem of how an illegal can join the team to compete in Germany. Ali holds his own against seasoned pros like Peter Stormare (playing an immigrant hotdog seller) and Marie Goranzon (in a thankless role as a drunk). Technically, film is fine.

Leaps and Bounds

Sweden

Production

A Sonet Film release of a Happy Zingo production, in association with Cinenord, Sonet Film, Schmidz Filmkollektiv, TV4. (International sales: Sonet, Stockholm.) Produced by Lotta Nilsson, Joachim Stridsberg. Directed by Petter Naess. Screenplay, Moni Nilsson, Kurt Oberg; idea, Nilsson, Rewas Kader.

Crew

Camera (color), Marius Johansen Hansen; editor, Inge-Lise Langfeldt; music, Nils-Petter Molvaer; art director, Maria Sohlman-Vikman; costume designer, Cilla Rorby. Reviewed at Sonet screening room, Stockholm, Jan. 2, 2007. (In Gothenburg Film Festival -- Swedish World Premieres.) Original title: Hoppet. Kurdish, Swedish dialogue. Running time: 89 MIN.

Cast

With: Ali Ali, Peter Stormare, Richard Jarl, Per Fritzell, Ronas Gemici, Telar Hirani, Mariwan Kamal, Baran Hiwa Kader, Kajsa Bergqvist, Marie Goranzon, Ia Langhammer.
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