Denmark | 108 MINUTES | Danish |
Based on a true story, Worlds Apart is a tale of love, freedom, and difficult choices set in a world little seen. Carefully probing the psychology of Jehovah Witnesses' infamous insularity, the film follows Sara, a devout and intelligent 17-year-old who pours her youthful energy into the pursuit of righteousness. But her strictly regimented world begins to come undone when her father admits to an extramarital affair. Her mother moves out of the house, but Sara and her younger siblings choose to stay with her father because he has repented his sins. Even though Sara seems wise beyond her years, she is still a teenager. When she meets Teis, a non-believer, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep in mind the dictum that "Jehovah sees all." She must ultimately decide to follow her heart or continue down the path to salvation that she's always known. If she follows her heart, the rules of her faith dictate that she will not be able to see or speak with her family again. Director Niels Arden Oplev rises to the challenge of representing the Witnesses, who are well known for their door-to-door proselytizing but perhaps not so well understood. He does so with complexity instead of the easy demonizing that such stories often resort to, and he compassionately portrays all that Sara will lose if she chooses to leave the congregation. He transforms Sara from a zealot into a thoughtful and brave young woman, all the while alluding to the often mercurial nature of teenage girls. The overall cast brings sensitivity to the varied characters, with Rosalinde Mynster giving an amazing and sensitive performance as Sara, a girl who is both serious and wise beyond her years.