Norwegian sisters Kari and May are devout in their religious convictions — to the degree that they perceive divine signs all around them. When May visits Kari in Sweden and decides to buy an apartment in the area to be closer to her, both sisters end up experiencing a divine sign at one particular apartment that prompts them to buy it. However, once they convene to buy it, they witness a shocking revelation that turns their lives upside down: the seller looks identical to their older sister Astrid, who committed suicide some thirty years before. What’s even more unusual: Olaug, the seller of the apartment, used to go by “Lita,” the same distinctive nickname as Kari and May’s deceased sister.
The sisters recruit director Maria Fredriksson to pursue these unusual circumstances, and the filmmaker is thrust into uncovering secrets and eerie mysteries of a bizarre family story. Fredriksson’s The Gullspång Miracle is a mesmerizing and consistently surprising documentary that epitomizes the ‘stranger than fiction’ narrative. Replete with comically awkward situations and one engrossing revelation after another, the film is a deft exploration of identity and the consequences of stubborn beliefs.—Jose Rodriguez