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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Movie shows immigrant experience

Sweet Land is the story of a mail-order
Sweet Land is the story of a mail-order bride from Europe who arrives in a small Minnesota town to meet her farmer husband-to-be. Not everything goes as expected because of some surprising twists, but in the end love and hospitality win out.
A story of blooming love, the power of the land and the American immigrant experience sounds like a winning blend, right? In fact, it is. Released last fall, Sweet Land has snapped up film awards and is nominated for the 2006 Independent Spirit Award for “Best First Feature.”

The movie is based on the title story from A Gravestone Made of Wheat (Simon & Schuster, 1989; available from www.amazon.com) by Will Weaver, a member of First Lutheran Church, Bemidji, Minn. The book, too, has won many awards, including the Minnesota Book Award for Fiction. “The same heart is still beating in the book and the movie. [Film director Ali Selim] did more with the Lutheran pastor than I did ... and improved on the story in some cases,” Weaver said.


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