Carpe Diem in Swedish or How to Figure Out How to Live

in 49th Taormina Film Fest

by Mikal Olsen Lerøen

A Breach in the Wall.In the Swedish film “Sprickorna i muren” (“A Breach in the Wall”), we meet a mathematics teacher, who instead of finishing his doctorate, decides to kill himself. He can’t figure out why or how to live. In this very warm film, last seen in the programme “Cinema del Mondo” at the Taormina BNL Film Fest, we are confronted with the human condition that makes us continue to live lives we don’t like.

The film gives us a description of a little countryside community found in many northern European countries. A place young people would try to get away from if they could just find a bus, and in which grown-up people hide their dreams in hard work and alcohol. (The county even sponsored the film because it was the first film in history made in this part of Sweden.)

In an honest and humorous way “Sprickorna i muren” creates interesting and likeable characters that you care for and therefore pay attention to; such as the teacher’s old uncle, who gives him philosophical advice: “drink a little bit, relax and fall in love”, a female colleague that seems to be obsessed with sex, and a pupil who is prone to either going to jail for stealing or becoming a brilliant mathematical genius.

The style in this small charming film is modest, almost beautifully realistic, though the music score does nothing to underline the story. It actually sounds like the score of another film. Another weak part of the chain is that the story is quite naive and rather predictable. However, the film does not try to be larger than it is, which in a way is a typical Scandinavian feature.

So even if the message in the film is not to obey “Jantes law” (“You should not think you are to better than us”), to some degree, the film follows that law.

Most of all, what gives “A Breach in the Wall” its value and quality is the brilliant acting from the lead Magnus Krepper, and the actor playing his uncle, veteran actor Tord Peterson. These two actors project the warmth and the feeling that you and I actually can change the paths of our lives, every day.

If that is not worth 10 euros than what is?

Go figure!