Foreign Film Opens Thursday at Sunrise
The epic foreign film drama "Simon and the Oaks" opens Thursday evening, Nov. 8, at the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines.
Beginning in 1939 and continuing post-World War II, the film tells the dramatic personal and family story of two young boys and their families. The setting is Sweden, surrounded by Nazi-occupied countries and exhibiting its own strong anti-Semitism.
The 9-year old son of working class Swedes, Simon spends his time in a huge oak tree, where he reads of adventures and far-away places and imagines shapes in the clouds.
Inspired by his books, Simon convinces his reluctant father to let him transfer to an upper-class grammar school. There he meets Isak, the son of a wealthy Jewish bookseller who has fled Nazi prosecution in Germany.
When another student taunts Isak for being Jewish, Simon comes to his rescue. Then Isak takes Simon home to meet his parents, who live in a luxurious and cultured apartment above the father's bookstore. Simon is fascinated by the books and new worlds of art and music there.
Simon's parents invite Isak to live with them as a refuge from anti-Semitic bullying at school. Simon's father, a master carpenter, builds boats, which fascinates Isak.
To help their children in a dangerous time, both families gradually merge into a unit that endures hardships, expands over the years, and spans generations.
"What's extraordinary is the absolute love these adults show for the children," writes David DeWitt in The New York Times.
This film "provides unexpected textures and twists for its story, and supplies so many dramatic situations and scenes that by the time it is over we feel we've lived through it along with its characters," according to Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan.
"Simon" is based on a best-selling novel by Marianne Fredricksson that has been translated into 25 languages and sold more than 4 million copies worldwide.
The film was a box office and critical success in Sweden. It received a record 13 nominations and two victories for the Guldbagge Awards, Sweden's Oscars.
"Simon and the Oaks" plays from Thursday, Nov. 8, through Monday, Nov. 12. Weekday and Saturday showings are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday showings are at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. There will not be a matinee showing on Saturday, Nov. 10. The film runs 122 minutes and is not rated.
The historic, nonprofit Sunrise Theater is located in downtown Southern Pines, at 250 NW Broad St.
Tickets are $7 and are available only at the box office prior to shows. Refreshments available include fresh popcorn with real butter, soft drinks, beer and wine.
Visit the website www.sunrisetheater.com or call (910) 692-8501 for more information about the theater and a complete calendar of events.
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