Norway, 2008, 115 minutes
Mon, May 4 / 1:15 / Clay / TROU04Y
Wed, May 6 / 6:45 / Kabuki / TROU06K
Thu, May 7 / 8:00 / Kabuki / TROU07K
Released from prison after serving an eight-year sentence for the murder of a young child, Thomas returns to Oslo to arrange the scattered pieces of his life and pursue a quiet redemption. He finds employment as a church organist, settles into a small apartment and even manages an awkward but genuine courtship of Anna, the church pastor. Honest about his lack of religious faith, Thomas is nonetheless affected by the music he plays, letting the hymns wash over him with an effect at once caustic and purifying. He infuses bits of pop melody into these sacred works, the most telling refrain belonging to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water,” a reference to the mysterious circumstances of the waterlogged murder about which he maintains his innocence. As Thomas grows closer to Anna, the event’s magnitude expands too, as her young son—eerily reminiscent of the boy killed all those years earlier—accompanies her ever more frequently. The tension mounts steadily, nearly overflowing when a schoolteacher recognizes the organist as the convicted murderer of her child—suddenly the painful intersection of their two lives can no longer be shuttered away in the deep recesses of memory. Director Erik Poppe’s narrative is the final installment of his much lauded Oslo Trilogy. While exploring vastly different terrain, each tale concerns the possibilities for forgiveness and atonement in a world colored by cruel chance and irreparable acts. Troubled Water offers Poppe’s most assured vision yet, and its harrowing climax promises nothing short of hard-earned revelation.
Presented in association with the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, San Francisco. West Coast Premiere.