×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

God Willing

Light on story but heavy on mood and visuals, "God Willing" looks like no other Swedish film of recent years. This melancholy love story about two would-be lovers during a moment in time could score locally thanks to the popularity of rock singer Nina Persson (from the Cardigans), who makes her screen debut. Offshore, this is for arthouses and the fest circuit.

With:
With: Nina Persson, Amir Chamdin, Janne Carlsson, Tito Pencheff, Hassan Brijany, Georgi Starkov, Sunil Munshi, Alexander Karim, Kalle Josephson, Claes Haertelius, Julia Alenius, Meliz Karlge. (Swedish, English dialogue)

Light on story but heavy on mood and visuals, “God Willing” looks like no other Swedish film of recent years. This melancholy love story about two would-be lovers during a moment in time could score locally thanks to the popularity of rock singer Nina Persson (from the Cardigans), who makes her screen debut. Offshore, this is for arthouses and the fest circuit.

It is 1975, and an extremely hot summer in Stockholm. Immigrant Juan (helmer Amir Chamdin) waits for his wife to join him; meantime, he works day and night, alternating between a fruit market and cleaning up at a hamburger restaurant. One morning, he meets pretty, English-speaking Juli (Persson), and they take a liking to each other.

The two meet every day when Juan is free, talking long walks, going to the movies and talking. Juan’s wife is due to arrive within a week, and the question is whether he and Juli will finally go to bed or not.

That’s basically it for plot, but “God Willing” is not dependant on story. Within pic’s tight running time, director Chamdin manages to tell a lot about these two people who, at least for the moment, are alone together.

Chamdin gives d.p. Crille Forsberg (who won best cinematography award at the Gothenburg fest) plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the nuances available in B&W lensing. Only scene in color is a short dream sequence.

Forsberg uses the chiaroscuro available in monochrome to compose visuals where much remains hidden. One stunning sequence is when Juan and Juli first meet: he stands inside the restaurant, leaning with his hand on the window; on the sidewalk, Juli, not realizing someone is on the other side, also leans on the window. Their two hands “meet” without either having any contact.

Props from the period are used without any sense of being forced on the viewer. There’s also a distinctive period sense to the way the pic is made, sometimes feeling and looking like a French or Italian film from the late ’60s or early ’70s.

Persson makes a fine screen debut, though the jury is still out on whether she can handle big chunks of dialogue. As the male lead, Chamdin essays a rather shy, introverted style that suits the mood.

God Willing

Sweden

Production: A Sonet Film release of a Chamdin, Stohr & She production, in association with Sonet Film, Film i Vast. (International sales: Trust Film Sales, Copenhagen, Denmark.) Produced by Martina Stohr. Executive producer, Peter Gustafsson. Directed by Amir Chamdin. Screenplay, Chamdin, Martina Stohr, Peter Gustafsson.

Crew: Camera (B&W/color, widescreen), Crille Forsberg; editor, Robert Sorling; music, Nathan Larson; art director, Robert Boman; costume designer, Marie Stromberg; sound (Dolby SR), Robert Sorling, Janne Alvermark. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival (competing), Jan. 31, 2006. Running time: 83 MIN.

With: With: Nina Persson, Amir Chamdin, Janne Carlsson, Tito Pencheff, Hassan Brijany, Georgi Starkov, Sunil Munshi, Alexander Karim, Kalle Josephson, Claes Haertelius, Julia Alenius, Meliz Karlge. (Swedish, English dialogue)

More Film

  • Fox Searchlight logo

    Film News Roundup: Fox Searchlight Launches Searchlight Shorts

    In today’s film news roundup, Fox Searchlight starts a shorts channel, Uma Thurman signs with ICM and Miramax signs animation exec Michael Lachance. SEARCHLIGHT SHORTS Fox Searchlight Pictures’ chairmen Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula have announced the launch of “Searchlight Shorts” as a collection of short films. The shorts are available on Fox Searchlight’s YouTube [...]

  • ImMature - cr: MX Player

    Indian Streamers Ramp up Original Productions

    Ever since global streaming giants Amazon Prime Video and Netflix entered the Indian OTT space in 2016, the conversation around original series has mostly revolved around them, thanks in part to market leader 21st Century Fox’s Hotstar’s circumspect attitude at the time about producing content. Netflix had great success with “Sacred Games,” while Amazon rode [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Hollywood Agents, Writers Guild Make Little Progress in Talks

    Leaders of Hollywood agencies and the Writers Guild of America made little progress in Tuesday meeting to negotiate proposed rule revisions to how agents represent writers. The WGA said after the meeting — the fifth since Feb. 5 — that talks would resume later this week but did not give a specific day. “The Agencies [...]

  • Village Rockstars

    Female Filmmakers Are a Growing Voice in India

    The Indian film industry has historically been a male-dominated one, but the winds of change are blowing across the country, albeit slowly. Better-served than the rest of the country is the Mumbai-based Hindi-language industry, where there are several active female filmmakers including Zoya Akhtar (“Gully Boy”), Reema Kagti (“Gold”), Leena Yadav (“Rajma Chawal”), Gauri Shinde [...]

  • Florence Pugh

    Scarlett Johansson's 'Black Widow' Movie Adds Florence Pugh

    “Black Widow’s” web may soon be growing. Sources tell Variety that Florence Pugh is in talks to join Scarlett Johansson’s standalone superhero film. Pugh has been on the hot list for this second lead role since last fall, but Marvel wanted to open up the field to other actresses at the beginning of the year. [...]

  • Mira Lesmana Sets up Indonesia Remake

    Mira Lesmana Sets Up Indonesian Remake of CJ's 'Sunny'

    Indonesia’s Miles Film and Korea’s CJ Entertainment are to co-produce an Indonesian remake of Korean hit “Sunny.” The film is a female-driven dramedy about a group of adult friends who reunite 20 years after high school. Directed by Kang Hyoung-chul, “Sunny” was one of the highest-grossing movies in Korea when it was released in 2011. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content