Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Promising the Moon (3½ Stars)

This German film is a sad story about unfulfilled love. It begins in 1933 on a beach in Latvia. Juris promises Marga he will always love her. Two years later get married, but Juris soon falls in love with another woman, Ieva. He makes no secret of it, staying away from home for days on end. In 1939 Marga tries to repair the marriage by arranging for Juris and herself to move to Germany, but he refuses to leave. When the Russians invade Latvia later in the year Marga plants resistance leaflets in Ieva's shop, causing her to be sent to prison in Siberia. Juris remains with Marga, but he never loves her. In 1941 Germany liberates Latvia, but in 1945 the Russians return, forcing Juris and Marga to flee to Germany together.

In 1991 Latvia is still fighting for its freedom. After finding photos of her parents Marga's daughter, Sofia, travels to Latvia to find the truth behind the secrets that her mother has kept from her all her life.

Call me a romantic fool, but I find it very difficult to enjoy a film with a story like this, however masterfully it's told. Marga loved Juris all her life, but the love was never returned. That depresses me. Not even Karoline Herfurth's wonderful performance as Marga can make me rate the film higher. For those who are nevertheless interested in the film, it has only been released in Germany, but the German DVD contains English subtitles.

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