True love does not conquer all. At least that is the message Paul Morrison seems to be sending in his first feature film, Solomon & Gaenor.
The Welsh film, which earned an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film, has all the necessary ingredients for a wonderful love story, but still has a ring of truth to it.
Solomon & Gaenor, set in the Welsh Valleys in 1911, tells of a tragic love story of a Jewish boy of an orthodox family and a Welsh girl whose family frequently attends chapel. It is a case of love at first sight when Solomon is out selling cottons door-to-door for his father’s pawnshop. Initially the couple’s eyes meet and you can see the chemistry envelop them.
Nia Roberts makes her feature film debut as Gaenor. She is demure at first, but soon becomes a hopeless romantic when Solomon (Ioan Gruffudd,) pursues her. They quickly become inseparable and consummate their relationship.
Gaenor isn’t aware of Solomon’s true identity and only knows him as Sam Livingstone. These lies are what initially drive these star-crossed lovers apart and later the anti-Semitism that surrounds them.
Full of passion and rage, this movie keeps the viewer in suspense about what will happen next. Although it is a tragic love story, the viewer is given a glimpse of hope that love will conquer all.
Solomon & Gaenor opens on Friday, Sept. 15.
This article appeared in the September 14, 2000 issue of the Hatchet.