Sweden, 1891. Beatrice lives alone on the family farm where she is constantly abused by Joel from the nearby village. One day, Olof – Beatrice’s brother – returns after a long stay in America. Haunted by his experiences in the Indian Wars, Olof is out for blood when he finds out what has transpired while he was away.
“For It Is Written” (Sweden), the mandatory 18-minute drama directed by Daniel Ståhl, is now available for streaming at Independent Shorts Awards TV. Awarded Best Western Short of the Year in August 2019.
“‘For It Is Written’ is set in the late 19th century – a much different time than today. Still, my vision when writing this story was to make it somewhat relevant and relatable to the audience of today. Themes about family, sense of abandonment, regret and revenge are timeless and will, I believe, always be relevant. They are also recurring themes in Westerns, a genre which I hold very close to my heart”, states director Daniel Ståhl.
“During the 19th century a great number of Swedish citizens emigrated to America in search of a new life – and some perhaps got more than they bargained for. The initial spark that made me write this story was when I discovered that – during the Civil War – there was a regiment in Wisconsin made up entirely of Scandinavian imigrants. That got me thinking: ‘What if one of these soldiers returns back to his native country after the war?’ – which actually did occur.
Religion was a natural part of life for most people at this time in history, although the power of the church had slowly started to diminish and would continue to do so as alternative ways of thinking and living was introduced and adapted by the population. Therefore, I felt that religion and questions of faith should be an integral part of the story. However, the most important theme to me was family and the conflicts that ensues when two family members have clashing views in times of great dispair.
As for the filming process, the ones that are the true heroes of this film are the cast and crew. The actors had an incredible sense of the characters they portrayed and played off of each other beautifully. They gave everything in every single frame and also came with suggestions that enrichened not only their own performances but also the film as a whole. The crew – who, including myself, had worked practically non-stop for almost six months shooting different projects back-to-back – turned into a truly professional unit that performed at the peak of their abilities. For that I am forever grateful, and I hope to someday return that favor to them”, adds the Swedish filmmaker.
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