Visiting her mother's cousin Lennart in a small town, Maria (an 11-year-old child) discovers a strange figure in the city, Jon - a large, dirty and old man. He is somewhat of an old pariah in the eyes of the townspeople, who reject him due to his slovenly appearance and drinking habits. Jon lives in a remote house on the edge of a village and is considered dangerously abnormal and Maria is not permitted to go near him. But one day he is struck by a car and Maria, independent and unafraid, helps him home. There she makes a wonderful discovery: Jon paints marvelous and unusual pictures, a real world of imaginative, naive painting. He makes her a gift of one and all too quickly becomes an unwilling celebrity, unable to handle the reaction of the townspeople and, especially, the media. Maria is the only one he trusts. Through her caring, the old man allows his life to take a different direction.
Filmed in and around Stockholm, Swedish director, Karsten Wedel, has shown a special gift for creating a screen adaptation of a children's book with a strong appeal to all ages giving children credit for understanding subtleties of language and feels they share an equal capacity with adults to appreciate complex ideas. Lise-Lotte Hjelm gives a performance beyond her years as Maria, whose adventure away from home proves to be a maturing experience. - Gönderen: g.c.