“Thou shall not kill”. But what happens when you live in a world that works by the “kill or be killed” principle? In a world where God is totally absent? Starting from this inconvenient and apparently irresolvable idea, director Daniel Ståhl aims to indirectly attack Christian stereotypes, creating a painful and poetic project that condemns not only the cruel acts of a bloody history, but also the hypocrisy of a divine law that no longer expresses (or perhaps never did) the logic of the world we live in. ‘For It Is Written‘ is an incisive short film that reveals both the fragility of an existence subjugated by a religion for which being a victim is a blessing and the superficiality of a self-destructive humanity, driven by monstrous instincts that kill with their weapons not only the beings invading their territory, but also all the gods we used to believe in. The characters of this short film are therefore confronted with the direct and indirect experience of war in all its forms, on the battlefields or in the privacy of their own homes, in vain waiting for an absolute justice that pushes them to extreme gestures. All this happens in a dynamic and delicate cinematographic narrative that, even if it uses the historical pretext of a 19th century Sweden, touched by the scourge of conflagrations, renders with cynical precision the very mechanism of our contemporaneity.


Being alone after her brother, Olof, left to fight in America, Beatrice is constantly sexually abused by Joel. But with the help of faith, the young woman hopes to defeat all these cruel episodes because we have to be good and humble, and because the retaliation is never a good choice. For it is written. But where is the God that Beatrice invokes every night, when Olof’s actions go beyond any limit?


Adept of an intimate cinema, creating a seemingly temperamental atmosphere behind which the most destructive human instincts are lurking, Daniel Ståhl orchestrates with the precision of a versed director an intense and delicate short film that revolts and touches. The ambivalent chromatics opposing the nocturnal register of the apparent communion between the individual and the god hidden in his heavens with the diurnal register whose brightness contrasts with the visceral realism of everyday life gives the spectators a strong, almost cathartic experience through the powerful empathy they create with the protagonist and her inner questions about what morality is. Far from being a light or lenient project that aims to provide a categorical answer to a major moral issue of humanity, ‘For It Is Written’ is the artistic testimony of a sensible and intelligent director who helplessly notices the monstrous mechanism of an imperfect world whose destiny is under the sign of an implacable self-destruction.


For the sensible theme through which the director depicts the social jungle of a world unable to face destructive instincts, for the temperate and, simultaneously, visceral realism that synthesizes the absurdity of illusory divine laws, but also for the professionalism with which the director orchestrates an almost impeccable cinematographic narrative at all levels, ‘For It Is Written’ was awarded the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the February 2019 edition of TMFF.