[aka The Glassblower's Children]

Sweden/Norway/Denmark, 1998, 110 min.

director.gif (905 bytes)Anders Grönros


Lena Granhagen - Flaxa Mildväder
Stellan Skarsgård - Albert
Pernilla August - Sofia
Oliver P. Peldius - Klas
Jasmine Heikura - Klara

Elin Klinga - The Empress
Thommy Berggren - The Emperor


27 February 1998 - Sweden
9 October 1998 - Norway
11 December 1998 - Denmark

glasblasarnspt2a.jpg (25094 bytes)

glasblasarns1a.jpg (31107 bytes)


Based on the novel by widely known Swedish children's author Maria Gripe, this is the story of two children, Klas and Klara. growing up in the poor Swedish countryside of the mid-19th century. Their father, Albert, is a glassblower, who is famous for his beautiful vases, but he is still unable to earn enough money for his wife Sofia and the children. On a market-day a fortune-teller tells Albert about the future, how something is going to happen to his children.

One day the Emperor decides to go for a ride in his horse-cart. Albert's two children act as gate-openers for him and receive some coins for the work. But the Emperor's mind gets completely obsessed with the idea of having a pair of nice children in the castle. With all their memories  lost, the children are rebellious and confused. Meanwhile, the devastated parents are at a loss for what to do, and seek the help of a witch-like neighbor.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)ACCOLADES
  • Won Guldbagge for Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor (Thommy Berggren)

button_box.gif (205 bytes)FILM FESTIVALS

  • Göteborg Film Festival [Sweden] - February 1998
  • Haifa Film Festival [Jerusalem] - October 1998
  • Berlin International Film Festival [Germany] - February 1999
  • Capetown Film Festival [South Africa] - March 1999
  • 26th International Film Festival of Vlaanderen [Netherlands] - October 1999
  • Mumbia Film Festival [India] - November 1999
  • Catalonian International Film Festival [Spain] - December 1999
  • European Union Film Festival [Chicago] - February 2000
  • Scandinavian Film Festival [Seattle] - March 2000
  • Swedish Film Festival [Malaysia] - April 2000
  • Scandinavian Film Festival [Boston] - April 2000



button_box.gif (205 bytes)REVIEWS

"This visually stunning adaptation of the acclaimed children's novel by Maria Gripe is a story of the struggle between good and evil of all ages. The children of a glassblower, played by the popular Stellan Skarsgård, are kidnapped by the lonely Lady of Wish City. In the time-honored manner of fairytales, the children are offered a horrific choice - all their wishes will come true if they agree to forget their parents forever."    ...European Union Film Festival (Chicago)

"One of the more impressive films in the festival, in terms of sheer visual magic, is The Glassblower's Children, by Swedish director Andres Grönros. It is a phantasmagoric fairy tale, ostensibly a children's story but with the darkness and subversion necessary to so many archetypal myths... The surreal, magical cinematography and wistful tone recall the wonderful, rarely seen Italian film The Wanderer.      ...Scandinavian Film Festival (Boston)

"Of all the movies I screened in advance, three of these kiddy pics affected me more deeply than any others, and seem, individually and as a group, to embody the spirit of all self-respecting film festivals - to sweep us up and transport us totally to imagined or far-off places. A Swedish adaptation of the novel by Maria Gripe, The Glassblower's Children is dark, magical and highly recommended for older children (and their parents)."   ...Jerusalem Post

"A magnificent fairy tale for children of all ages set in the 1800s. Albert, the glassblower, who is known for his beautiful vases, would like his children to see more of beauty and less of poverty. Then one day, things begin to happen. A wealthy man buys all of Albert's glassware in one go. After this, strange events begin to take place and the magical force of fairytale takes over. A perfect antidote to cynicism.   ...Capetown Film Festival

"Production design by Jan Olof Agren contrasts the two settings - the warmth and art of the glassblower's realistic world as opposed to the heightened sense of dread lurking throughout the mythical and stylized castle.   ...All Movie Guide

"The tribulations of both parental and marital love are explored in the Swedish film The Glassblower's Children. The luscious details of the sets and characters make the film worth seeing."     ...The Stranger

"Scandinavian authors always create beautiful and original children's tales... A justified, educational film for young and old." (Netherlands)

Tantalizing in visuals and with a clear narration, it has all the elements that would commend itself to viewers of all age groups. The visual quality of the film is outstanding that it can justly be called magical realism.    ...Chennai Online (India)

button_box.gif (205 bytes)AUDIENCE PRAISE:

"This film is based on a book by Maria Gripe, whose great imagination is visible in every scene. Her enchanting symbolism and beautiful language make this film magic."

"This is craftsmanship - a one-of-a-kind movie with a sense of wonder and mystery. Very moody and heavily symbolic, the fairy tale is brought to life by brilliant acting, beautiful camera work and a fascinating story. The actors - Stellan Skarsgård, Pernilla August, Elin Klinga and Ewa Fröling, among others - are of the Swedish elite and do their very best in this film."

"Glasblåsarns barn is the most stunningly beautiful Swedish film I have ever seen (yes, I think it's more beautiful than Elvira Madigan). The cinematography is great, the production design exquisite, the costume design is brilliant, and the locations are truly beautiful. Not only is it beautiful, it is also a good film. Thommy Berggren is magnificent as Härskaren, and apart from him the film boasts a top notch cast like Stellan Skarsgård and Pernilla August. Even the two kids do great jobs. A wonderful fairy tale for both children (not too young, though) and adults."

"Pernilla August and Stellan Skarsgård manage to create a memorable portrait of two poor but happy parents... The first minutes of this intricate and fascinating saga directly sets a mood that continues throughout the film. A sense of unreality, as in perhaps Ingmar Bergman's Fanny och Alexander, and it is a mood that fits the movie perfectly. Although I haven´t read the book, the film captures the essence of great storytelling, and the cast is superb."