We watched the video of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's 1983 movie Fanny and Alexander during the holidays, mostly because we love that wonder-filled scene in the beginning when a large Swedish family parades around a beautifully decorated house on Christmas Eve.
The epiphany in the film, however, came near the end. The family has gone through a death and, for the children Fanny and Alexander and their mother, a terrible separation from the rest of the clan. When they are back together in the big house, one of the elders makes an impassioned plea to the young family members: "We must live in the little, the little world. We should be content with that and cultivate it and make the best of it. It is necessary, and not in the least shameful, to take pleasure in good food, gentle smiles, fruit trees in bloom, waltzes."
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers