The actual translation of this Oscar-nominated Norwegian film's original title, Sonntagsengel, is "Sunday Angels," which comes close to reflecting the state of innocence and grace from which the young heroine, Maria, attem... more »pts to penetrate adult mysteries in defiance of her father, a priest. The story is set in 1959, and Maria is unhappily lagging behind the rock & roll rebellion of her peers. Her father is severe and arbitrary in his judgments of what's best for her, her mother is in and out of a hospital, and her Sundays are spent in church, allegedly hanging on the old man's every word despite her ever-clarifying atheism. One way out: Find an ally as well as a cautionary figure in a lovely but miserable church servant who wishes she were as free as her true spirit. Directed by Berit Nesheim, the film is most vital during Maria's moments of unspoken yearning and accelerated confidence, giving us a palpable sense of a girl's inner life metamorphosing into womanhood. The rest--family scenes concocted to underscore Dad's own emotional conflicts and tyranny--are much more wooden. --Tom Keogh« less
"This is the second Fox Lorber DVD that I've bought, and both are horrible transfers. The entire movie looks dark, especially compared to the version I saw on DBS, and, if you freeze at any point, the edges of images have ghost images (no pull-down technology?). This is a nice, thoughtful film that deserves better."
Admirable character strength in a beautiful young girl
firstname.lastname@example.org | The Netherlands | 12/21/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The movie tells the story of a sixteen (?) year old girl, growing up in the cold environment of an orthodox, Norwegian church as the vicar's daughter. She is a very contemplative teenager, looking through the hypocrisy of the peolple that surround her. She strongly feels that the 'God' these people worship is a god that squeezes the life out of everyone who is trying to follow his heart. Her rebellion against this only grows by every question she poses against this rule-based Christianity that remains unanswered. It takes a lot of nerve and character strength to stand up against the prevailing morals in such a small community as she is living in, but at the end of the movie she has gathered enough courage to do so. By that time, this oppressing envinronment has cost the life of the only person in church she really could talk to. But saying more would be giving it all away. Though somewhat exagerating in black-and-white oppositions, this movie still tells a beautiful tale!"
When your father is a priest!
Rizzo | Denver, CO | 02/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Set in a Norwegian town in 1959, Maria is a young teen girl soon to become a woman, but is highly confused about her life. She is the daughter of a priest who loves and treasures his parishioners over family. Her mother is spineless while father is a stern dictator in the home. The family sits quietly to eat at the dinner table after the prayer/songs her father commands. He cannot tell her he loves her and she believes that the family only exists so the priest can have a home - a place to sleep and eat.
Maria seems bored and confused and doesn't want to be confirmed and hates how pathetic the church hags are and how the congregation lacks any love within themselves.
She is drawn to the teens from the congregation, who immediately after church hit the booze, smoke, listen to rock & roll and have sex. She explores her sexuality, wears makeup, earrings and lipstick. Her father calls the cafe where the youngsters hang out as the Devil's lair, the den of sin.
Maria befriends the church secretary, Mrs. Tunheim, who is having an affair with her father. Without divulging that she knows of the affair, Maria seeks advice and understanding from Mrs. Tunheim, someone willing to live freely and who tells Maria, "live your life."
The 1996 movie is on VHS with very poor visual and dark scenes. It is a coming-of-age, religious style. For the Oscar awards, 1996, this movie was nominated for Best Movie, but lost to a Czec film Closely Watched Trains - Criterion Collection...Rizzo "
A wonderful movie!
Brian E. Erland | 09/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was an incredibly touching video about a girl trying to live how she wants while being smothered by her family's values. It's an intelligent movie, and done extremely well. It is well worth the money for the DVD!I'm not going to summarize this movie, because that's been done, but suffice it to say that if you enjoy dramas, and movies that are based on great plot and charechters, and not millions of dollars in special effects, you will love this movie."
"Guide Me, Kind Light" ~ Being Proud And Stubborn In The Nam
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 10/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Note: Presented in Norwegian with English subtitles.
`The Other Side of Sunday' is a slow but ultimately satisfying film from Norway about a intelligent, sensitive and beautiful teenage girl who questions the nature of God as it is mirrored in the lives and attitudes of her Father, the local priest, and the Christian congregation he shepherds. Her interior "crisis of belief" becomes more and more pronounced in her words and activities as her first communion day draws closer. Will she follow her heart and be honest with herself by rejecting what she perceives as misguided faith, or will she bend to the desires of her Father and embrace Jesus and the Church?
Because of the slow pace and quiet demeanor of the film you might have a little difficulty maintaining your interest and focus at first. However if you allow yourself to tune into the storyline and the lovely young actress Marie Theisen you'll eventually find yourself deeply involved in the questioning process along with her. When the film is over one hopefully is left with the message that questioning the articles of faith is a good thing and ultimately one must be true to oneself if life is to have any meaning. Save this one for a quiet, thoughtful evening when you're in the mood to ponder "The Mysteries."