S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(aka 'Letters to Father Jacob')
Directed by Klaus Härö
Letters to Father Jacob is a warm-hearted and touching
story of Leila, a life sentence prisoner who has just
been pardoned. When she is released from prison, she is
offered a job at a secluded parsonage; she moves there
against her will. Leila is used to taking care only of
herself, so trouble is to be expected when she starts
working as the personal assistant for Jacob, the blind
priest living in the parsonage.
Leila has just been pardoned after serving 12 years of a life sentence. Upon her release from prison she is offered... a job at a secluded parsonage as the personal assistant to the blind pastor Father Jacob, who's life's mission is to answer the letters of those who write asking for his help. Although she regards Father Jacob's correspondence as pointless, it ultimately plays a role in Leila's own redemption and self-forgiveness.
Theatrical Release: January 29th, 2009 - Gothenburg Film Festival
DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||Finnish (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Olive Films is handling another lauded, modern foreign-language film (as they did with Nicolo Donato's Brotherhood, Veiko Õunpuu's Estonian film The Temptation of St. Tony, Claudia Llosa's The Milk of Sorrow, and Fredrik Edfeldt's excellent The Girl.) The story of a troubled soul - a delicate film with gentleness, vulnerability with heavy overtones of faith - but not in an 'organized religion' sense. I was reminded of the cinema of Ingmar Bergman at times. The images and cinematography are excellent and help establish and expand the interesting storyline. This is a great film.
Like all widescreen Olive Film DVDs to date this is dual-layered, anamorphic, progressive and bare-bones. It looks excellent in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image quality is about as good as I can remember seeing for this format. Detail and contrast are excellent. There is, predictably, no damage. I was very impressed with the transfer and it does a great job supporting the film's poignant visuals.
The unremarkable audio is mostly dialogue with plenty of important pauses. It's flat but supports the film well enough. Unfortunately, the English subtitles are burned-in and I viewed this as a negative that hope this changes with Olive Films future foreign-language releases. As stated there are no extras - not even a trailer. Supplements here would be greatly appreciated - a commentary of some discussion on this film would seem justified.
I can give a healthy endorsement to see this film - although it would have been great to have a Criterion release this with all the trimmings - I have no complaints about the Olive Film's transfer aside from the burned-in subtitles. We still suggest watching this when you have the opportunity and this DVD is more than adequate for a viewing presentation.