(We Can Be Heroes!)

ROLE:  Giuseppe (father)

GENRE: Family drama

COUNTRY:  Sweden

PREMIERE:  August 30, 2002


Ten-year-old Marcello lives in a Gothenburg suburb and has two loving but odd parents. His father wants the boy to group and play soccer, while his mother wishes the young boy would join the church choir. A trio of bullies constantly pick on Marcello at school. After talking to a statue of Jesus at the church, Marcello is surprised when it talks back, providing advice on how Marcello can confront his problems. When a Lebanese family buys the house next door, Marcello befriends their child, Fatima. Fatima improves Marcello’s soccer skills, while Marcello provides Fatima with some protection when the bullies attack.

Film Details

Ariel Petsonk - Marcello
Michael Nyqvist - Giuseppe
Zamand Hägg - Fatima
Anna Pettersson - Gunilla
Ralph Carlsson - klassföreståndaren
Joel Ander - Oscar
Pontus Stenshäll - Jesus
Vilma Rogsten-Zammel - Sofia
Rabih Ajami - Jamil
Fatima's pappa -  Amir Barghashi
Salam Al Mosawy - Nadim

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Director - Ulf Malmros
Screenplay - Peter Birro
Cinematography - Mats Olofsson
Music - Johan Söderqvist

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89 minutes

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There are several film clips at YouTube.com

Publicity Stills
Press Photos


Gunnar Rehlin, Variety:

One of the best Swedish films of the year, "We Can Be Heroes!" has enough depth and charm to appeal to a much broader audience than the kids who are its prime target. Both funny and tragic, and with a refreshing mixture of reality and surrealism, this visually striking film by director Ulf Malmros about a young boy who dreams of flying should enjoy a healthy life in Scandinavian theaters with excellent later returns on home video.

The young cast — led by newcomers Petsonk and Hagg — is excellent, even when up against seasoned pros like Nyqvist as Marcello’s dad and Ralph Carlsson as his teacher. The lesser-known Pettersson brings depth and emotion to the role of Marcello’s mother.

Most striking, however, is the ease with which director Ulf Malmros and screenwriter Peter Birro incorporate the surreal into an otherwise realistic story about love and dreams. In sequences like Marcello summoning up money that pours out of a roof, or Christ calmly chatting with the boy, there’s no sense of the extra-ordinary or any need to explain things rationally.

In these days of DV technology, Malmros and cinematographer Mats Olofsson go against the grain with sweeping, often breathtaking 35mm images that bring nuance to Marcello’s dreams of flying. There’s also a constant flow to the film that makes it seem shorter than its 89 minutes.