Danish film, "Worlds Apart," (about JW girl) reviewed by XJW author

by AndersonsInfo 53 Replies latest jw friends

  • AndersonsInfo

    Once again I'm posting information about the new Danish film. This time, the XJW, who saw the movie, updated his original e-mail to me containing additional facts.


    The following observations were made by Poul Bregninge after seeing the film, To Verdener/Worlds Apart. To those who do not recognize Poul's name, he wrote the Danish book, "Dommedag må vente" (Judgment Day Must Wait), published by Gyldendal in May 2006. In Chapter 24 of Poul's book can be found my personal story about how I discovered child abuse within the Watchtower organization and what followed afterward. (http://www.freeminds.org/women/barbdiscovery.htm)


    On January 22nd, my wife and I were at Nordisk Films Studies in Copenhagen where we saw the film, "TO VERDENER / "WORLDS APART," directed by Niels Arden Oplev,to be released in Denmark on February 22, 2008. While w atching the film, we experienced powerfully strong emotions because we were looking back into a world we had left 49-years ago. As the film progressed, we followed Sara's growing independence which finally ended with her disfellowshipping from the local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. All the well-known and typical elements in the process of liberation were displayed. We saw the elders in the congregation try to convince Sara to come back to the religion and its belief in eternal life in a Utopian world after God's universal war, Armageddon, takes place. "Worlds Apart" is a very moving film which deserves to be seen all over the world. It is very dramatic although using a low tone in its presentation. Naturally, Birgit and I liked the film very much because of our past experiences within the Witness organization, but the opinions of the others present - amongst them journalists - were also very positive. However, it it important to remember that Sara and her film family are fictional characters. This is not a documentary film about real people. The producer was inspired to produce this film after reading an interview in a Danish newspaper in 2005 about similar events which had taken place in a young Witness girl's life. I was told he wanted to tell a story about a young girl who undertook to make a personal choice in her life despite some pretty grim consequences. Although this is the story about a young Witness girl, it is a film about the problems that can also develop in other fundamentalist religions when their young people defy the rules. This is a wonderful story, but also a cruel one. Sara, who grew up in a fanatical sect with a closed religious environment, chose for herself freedom and what she thought was a better way to pursue life, that is, with a young man she loved who was not a fellow Witness believer. Sara showed no doubts even though she knew she would be punished for crossing the line when she expressed her love. If she was to survive her "theocratic" family, there was no way back for her. It is Sara's love that carried her through and made her feel human.
  • belbab


    Any information when it will be released in the West, US and Canada?

    Subtitles would be acceptable.


  • AndersonsInfo

    When Poul hears anything more about the film such as answers to your question, belbab, he promises to let me know.


  • Tatiana

    I think I posted (and someone else did too) on another thread that it is on IMDB.


    GermanyFebruary 2008(Berlin International Film Festival)
    Denmark22 February2008

    Also Known As (AKA)

    Imellem to verdenerDenmark (working title)
    To verdenerDenmark (working title)
    Worlds ApartInternational (English title)

    I just hope enough interest is generated to have it shown everywhere.

  • littlerockguy

    I have a bf in Denmark and I will have him get me a DVD copy when it is released and it will more than likely have English subtitles. He called me on my birthday and I will hear from him Friday and I will mention it to him to watch it when it is shown in Copenhagen. He is planning on visiting during the time of the crawfest in Dallas in May.


  • Tatiana

    The article is in Variety. Don't know if it was started as another thread. Just thought I'd add to Barbara's.


    Worlds Apart

    To Verdener (Denmark)


    Posted: Mon., Feb. 4, 2008, 11:16pm PT A Nordisk Film production. (International sales: Nordisk Film, Valby, Denmark.) Executive producer, Kim Magnusson . Produced by Thomas Heinesen . Directed by Niels Arden Oplev . Screenplay, Steen Bille , Oplev.

    With: Rosalinde Mynster, Pilou Asbaek, Jens Jorn Spottag , Sarah Boberg , Anders W. Berthelsen.

    A teen raised as a Jehovah's Witness falls in love with a non-believer and is forced to choose between b.f. and rigidly observant family who are, figuratively speaking, "Worlds Apart." Based on a true story, this provocative, well-turned drama by Danish helmer Niels Arden Oplev ("We Shall Overcome") raises universally pertinent questions about fundamentalist thinking without portraying Witnesses' beliefs as inherently crazy or evil. Intriguing subject matter combined with charismatic perfs by the two young leads might attract niche arthouse play, with further action in ancillary. Material also seems ripe for U.S remake.

    Outgoing, attractive Sara Dahl (17-year-old newcomer Rosalinde Mynster, a natural) is devoted to her family and ardent about her faith. She proselytizes door-to-door with fellow congregants, preaching about Judgment Day and eternal salvation for Jehovah's chosen ones.

    But all's not well in the Dahl household. Her hotel receptionist father Andreas (Jens Jorn Spottag, a dead ringer for U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee ) has committed a carnal sin, splitting the family apart. However, the kids feel it's worse that mother (Sarah Boberg) won't forgive him since he has sincerely repented.

    When Sara meets Teis (Pilou Asbaek, strong) at a club, a powerful attraction blooms. But almost immediately, their relationship challenges the foundations of her worldview.

    Although minister John (Anders W. Berthelsen, intense) reminds Sara of Witness dogma, heart and hormones prove stronger. One of pic's most wrenching scenes depicts despondent Sara asked by John and church elders for explicit details of her sexual activity.

    According to Arden Oplev, the script, co-written with Steen Bille, condenses events that actually occurred over several years in real life into just a few months in the film. The loneliness and isolation of those expelled from the Witnesses comes through loud and clear without any sensationalizing, as does the comfort of having something clear to believe in.

    With exception of the always good Berthelsen, adult thesps aren't as convincing as the younger actors. Non-showy widescreen lensing by Lars Vestergaard supports the intimacy of the perfs with crisp closeups. Rest of tech package is pro.

    More than one option

    • (Film) Al Tish'ali Im Ani Ohev
    • (Film) The Seventh Coin
    • (Tv) Worlds Apart

    Camera (color, Super 16-to-35mm, widescreen), Lars Vestergaard; editor, Anne Osterud ; music, Jacob Groth ; sound ( Dolby Digital SRD), Peter Schultz . Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival (Nordic Film Market), Feb. 1, 2008. (Also in Berlin Film Festival -- Generation 14plus.) Running time: 108 MIN

  • Tatiana


  • GermanXJW

    Does the movie make use of JW terms? Nordic Film would need help when creating foreign version.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I am still wanting to see this movie. Any info on purchasing a DVD? Anyone?

  • MegaDude

    The film should be released here next year 2009 through IFC. If you know how to rip a DVD and burn it to make it a region 1 instead of a region 2, you can order it from CDWOW, which is what I did. Subtitles in english.

  • AndersonsInfo

    A complimentary copy of "Worlds Apart," with English subtitles, was sent to us by the Danish producer of the film. While we watched, sometimes we forgot to breathe because we were so totally absorbed. Probably why the film emotionally moved us so much is because we are disfellowshipped and shunned.

    Why do Jehovah's Witnesses really shun disfellowshipped parents or children who they love? Is shunning an act of kindness so that "sinners" will experience the profound loss of God's favor and want to repent and rejoin the flock? When you see how the film, "World's Apart" concludes, you'll see what shunning a loved one is really about. Hint: Shunning is an act of selfishness.

    This film, a true story, excellently captures what is being played out in the lives of young JWs everywhere. After it was over, we sat there in silence, overcome with sadness.

    Barbara and Joe

  • MegaDude

    A little bit of triva. At the end of the film, the blonde girl sitting across from the main star of the film is the real former JW girl upon which the story is based.

  • jakmarx

    I watched about 4 times already,

    I got my copy from CD wow..

    I REALLY want them to remake it in english, its very good made me cry the first time. The seen with the brother is great. There are a couple of glaring mistakes, like hairy elders & trousers on girls! ut forgivable....

  • InquiryMan

    This film be shown on major cinemas in Norway as one of the Christmas movies... I am going to see it with my aunt and two cousins... Apart from that I will host a DVD-showing at home with some of my colleagues at work. I am looking forward to hearing their views of the film. the first time I saw it, I saw it with several ex-witnesses and their partners. We were very absorbed and touched by the movies. An ex-witness brother was used as a consultant for the film, explaining the accuracy in language, clothing, and the general depitiction of JW life. (In Denmark, bears are allowed)...

  • leavingwt

    Is it possible for me to purchase the DVD (Region 1, with English subtitles) online right now? If so, will you please provide a link?

    I'm dying to see it.

    Thank You,


  • watson

    Comcast On Demand has it now. Watched it this AM. Well done. A couple minor touches could be made for finite accuracy, but not necessary.

  • Ri

    "There are a couple of glaring mistakes, like hairy elders & trousers on girls! ut forgivable....'

    I noticed that to jaxmarx lol

  • ninja

    and also ...there were no older sisters with moustaches....totally unrealistic

  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    Thanks, Watson. I 'm going to look for it tomorrow on Comcast. It sounds Great!

  • willyloman

    If you have Time Warner Cable and live in Southern California, check your "movies on demand" listings. I found it there.

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