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Returning to the source

Posted at 10:36 AM on October 10, 2006 by Euan Kerr

Borealis Books is taking advantage of the release of "Sweet Land" to launch a collection of Will Weaver stories under the same name. It was Weaver's short story "A Gravestone Made of Wheat" which launched director Ali Selim on his 15 year quest to make what became "Sweet Land."

The original story is only 14 and a half pages long. The characters and the themes of immigrant family strength in the face of hard times and intolerant neighbors are all there.

However there are basic differences between the story and the film too. In the story it is the husband burying the wife, in the film it's the other way round. There are many additional characters in the film too, including the Alan Cumming role of the eccentric neighbor Frandsen.

If you have seen the film, or intend to take it in, it's worth spending the few minutes reading the story too. Each is very good and it's fascinating to see how a set of ideas can produce such marvelously different works of art.

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