Sample Paper on Film: As It Is in Heaven (2005, Kay Pollak, Sweden)

The film “As It Is in Heaven” was directed in 2004 by Kay Pollak. The key characters in the film are Frida Hallgren and Michael Nyqvist. It revolves around the aspect of singing, which in real life, there are myriads of stories or revelations we tell ourselves about the same. Many times, people cannot read music, and this means that they either cannot sing, or they sing off-key. Others are often embarrassed to have their voices raised in public domains. The primary purpose of music and singing is to see a connection with the soul sound, which is often expressed in several ways. It is argued that to boost their singing capabilities, first-time singers with an interest in the same join choirs. There are several choirs in existence across the world, and this underscores the passion and interest that people have for singing. In this film, there is focus on a music conductor who despite the gift that he has, is lonely and yearns to come up with music that is soothing. The film is also seen to revolve around a church choir together with its members who reside in a rural area located in the north of Sweden. It is seen that Daniel Daréus, who is a conductor, breaks down and resolves to go back to his place of birth, which is a village in the north of Sweden. While there, Daniel becomes a member of the church choir and helps them sharpen their singing skills. His involvement in the church choir helps him rediscover his love for music, and he also realizes that he has been missing a lot by living in the city. It does not take him long to make new friends and find a new partner (Hammer 177).


“As It Is in Heaven” is one of the most effectively planned Swedish films. It is seen that the film begins by giving an explanation and examination of the life of the starring, Daniel Daréus. This gives an insight or enables the viewers to understand his previous life and what he is about to go through or experience in his new life and role as the conductor of a church choir in his childhood village. The explanation given at the start of the film is that Daniel has various aspirations, which center on the creation of music that will open the hearts of his audience. The film also explains that Daniel suffered a heart attack while in the city, and this prompted him to relocate to the village where he is persuaded to join a church choir (Hammer 156). The film then proceeds to give explanations of Daniel’s experiences as a member of the church choir. Through this, the viewers of the film get to understand more about village life and what to expect in case they decide to relocate to their childhood villages. Without a doubt, the shift to the village triggers suspicion, fascination, and curiosity among the members of the village, and this should be expected by any individual who relocates from an urban area to a rural area. The planning of the film is boosted by its division into various scenes. Each scene talks about different experiences, from the start of Daniel’s life as one of the key members of the village church choir to his commitment to rush towards the achievement of life goals in the end.


The film centers on the rural environment, and this is highlighted by the fact that Daniel moves from the city life to the rural life. The rural environment is seen as one where people live together and in harmony. Frequently, people who live in rural areas have formed opinions regarding those living in urban areas, and this is manifested in this film. Upon his return to the village, Daniel is made the conductor of the church choir despite the fact that there are other talented individuals in the village who can play a similar role. It is seen that the urban life is superior to the rural life. The rural environment is also depicted as one where the popularity of a person cannot go unnoticed. Daniel is famous, and this attracts several women to him including Lena, who is a member of the church choir, Inger, Gabriella, as well as Olga Barboro, an elderly woman (Pollack 27).


It should also be noted that the film introduces its viewers to the rural culture. It is evident that the members of the village love and respect one another, and this is underscored by the fact that despite Daniel being a newcomer, he is invited to dinner by Stig, who has been a minister in the rural town for twenty-five years. This contrasts the urban culture where people live in solitude and do not care about their neighbors. Also, there is a manifestation of the morality embraced in the village or rural areas. For instance, one of the characters, Siv, withdraws from the enjoyment of the church choir because of her obsession with mortality. The aspect of togetherness, cooperation, and unity, which form part of the culture of Daniel’s village, cannot be ignored (Niemiec and Danny 191). The success of the church choir relies greatly on these aspects, and this triggers jealousy from Stig making him come up with numerous attempts to close the church choir down.  The rural culture is also seen as one where every individual is appreciated and accepted despite the differences in ideologies and opinions. Daniel is readily accepted in the village despite his long-term absence.




The film is designed effectively, and this enhances the understanding of the viewers. It has main characters including Daniel Daréus, Lena, and Gabriella. The film also has numerous supportive characters including Arne, Inger, Stig, Conny, Siv, Holmfrid, Olga, and several others. Every character plays a fundamental role in the film, and this makes it easily understood by viewers.  The rural setting of the film also enhances its acceptability among the viewers. Moreover, it should be noted that the film’s characters are real, an aspect that makes it more acceptable among the viewers (Larsson and Anders 307).

Briefly, the film “As It Is in Heaven” is highly rated and is one of the most successful movies not only in Sweden but worldwide. The educative and moral perspectives of the film cannot be ignored because it has played an integral role in promoting the rural culture. It also portrays music as an important factor in life that can promote togetherness, cooperation, and unity among people. Agreeably, the characters in the film are real, and this has played a role in its global acceptance.

Works Cited

Hammer, Anita. “As It Is in Heaven.” Implications of the Sacred in (post) modern Media (2006): 177.

Larsson, Mariah, and Anders Marklund. Swedish Film: An Introduction and Reader. Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2010. Print.

Niemiec, Ryan M, and Danny Wedding. Positive Psychology at the Movies: Using Films to Build Virtues and Character Strengths. , 2013. Print.

Pollack, K. As it is in heaven. Sweden: Lorder Films, 2005.