Last Friday I was able to be a part of a very special event in Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Film
Festival. This festival debuts new documentaries and Independent cinema. I was got so excited about this event because, being a movie fanatic, I enjoy seeing new stories getting told through film and also viewing films which are totally brand new to the public. So, I went down to the Ritz 2 theater here in Philly, ( feelingg cozy and at home in the warm theather enivonment) in anticipation of seeing Worlds Apart. Worlds Apart is a Danish film directed by Niels Arden Oplev, co-written by Oplev and Steen Bille. This movie is relatable, emotional, and triumphant.
In the movie Worlds Apart, the main character, Sara is a devout Jehovah's Witness who never strays away from her beliefs. Sara, (played wonderfully by actress Rosalinde Mynster) always goes with her father and church on neigborhood missions work and stays grounded in Biblical principles. While she does these things greatly, Sara is also still seventeen years old. Like most seventeen year olds, she hangs out with her best friend duringd down time and likes to dance and have fun. I enjoyed in the movie how director Olev portrayed this through various scenes. These scenes create a relatable aspect: a woman today can see herself in Sara's life. A good example, a scene where Sara's best friend Thea helps her with her makeup during a party. This aspect, of being seventeen and hanging out is one of the most memorable things in the movie: who can ever forget great times like these with your bestie? Another , I can relate to that moment in this movie, comes in the main scene in which Sara meets a young man at a disco tech. At first, Sara is apprehensive about talking to this new guy, (played excellent by actor Johan Philip Asbaek). The prospective man, Teis, tries to get closer to Sara( great scene that shows this, when Sara and Thea are dancing, and Teis tries to come over, but can't!) Teis takes his time though, slowly becoming Sara's friend, through chatting online and meeting to talk at the mall.
Now, you may read into this story in Worlds Apart and think, ok this sounds so sweet, where's
the drama? the drama comes in the movie with the developing romance between Sara and Teis. Sara begins hanging with Teis, tells Thea to cover for her when one day she misses the train from a date with Teis, and can't get home. This is the turning point in the movie. Actress Rosalinde Mynster really shows the emotion well, of a young woman who wants to stay true to her faith by refusing an offer to stay at Teis's house since she missed the last train home. Through Roalinde's acting, you feel sympathy for her: you wished she had made that train so she wouldn't be faced with a difficult decision. Actor Johan Philip does a great job too in this scene, refusing to let Sara stay at the platform till moring, urging her to be safe and stay at his place( he even says he would pick her up and carry her away if she keeps fighting him! lol) Sara finally says ok, and spends the night at Teis's house. At Teis's, Sara has another dilemma on her hands:sleeping arrangements. Teis,being the gentleman he is, goes on the floor and Sara gets
the bed. After some small talk, Teis somehow gets beside Sara. Sara resists Teis's advances, and Teis respects her wishes to not be intimate. Eventhough nothing happpned between Teis and Sara, she does tell him that night that she wants to be a couple with him.
Emotions in Worlds Apart come with the exciting love and relationship between Teis and Sara. Sara has not told her father , played well by actor Jens Jan Spottag, about her new boyfriend. Sara's dad, the character Andreas, is a loving father to his children who is very devoted to the Jehovah's Witness religion. He leads his children in Bible studies, works with them on missions, and is a present factor in their lives. Andreas begins to sense something strange in Sara's behavior: she seems too happy at one point ( actress Rosalinde Mynster hams it up showing Sara's happiness, singing hymns loud in church, smiling broadly at her best friend during service, just gleeful at home). Soon, like most parents who have an invisible radar their children can't see ( point of fact, some parents can just tell when something is going on with their child)
Andreas decides its time to have a talk with Sara. It turns out, Andreas knows that Sara has a boyfriend, and he dissaproves: unless the potential mate is a member of the Jehovah's Witness
family, she cannot date him. Sara begs to at least be able to be Teis's friend, but her dad just thinks it won't work. The emotional struggle begins, and it only gets worse when Sara has to confront the Elders of her church and tell them EVERYTHING that happned the night she spent at Teis's house! Sara becomes torn, but still she stays with Teis. Eventually, it all becomes too much for her too handle... I won't give away the ending of this story, but go check out the movie to see!
Overall, the performances in Worlds Apart were brillant. You could see the overprotective father played well by actor Jens Jan Spottag, the caring and loving boyfriend( who in the movie
even decides to become a Jehovah's Witnesss since he's having so many problems being able to be with Sara.. he doesnt' stick through with it) played well by actor Johan Philip Asbaek, and finally the great performance by Rosalinde Mynster, who showed a young woman, dedicated to her faith, but falling in love deeply with a guy who she cares about. This movie, Worlds Apart, really shows how hard it can be for young women in religion, who want to date but face challenges when their mate is met with opposition. Also, Worlds Apart also shows just how tight the family bond is. In the movie, Sara's brother Jonas, was disowned by the family and expelled from the Jehovah's Witness religion, due to him sinning against the church. When Sara goes to her brother for help with her love situation, he grabs her and hugs her: the love between a brother and sister is a bond that even a church cannot break. I liked how this relationship between Sara and her brother was displayed. This was a triumph in the movie, the coming together of Sara and her brother, plus her mom too, ( who didn't agree with the Jehovah's Witness church rules and supported Sara in her decision to stay with Teis). The family love
shined, and Sara was not completly by herself in her hard situation.
Worlds Apart, go see it. You will not be dissapointed and its a wonderful experience.