EW Staff
December 03, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

THE OX Stellan Skarsgard, Ewa Froling (1992, Academy, unrated, subtitled, $89.95) A man (Skarsgard) kills his neighbor’s ox to feed his wife and child during a time of extreme poverty in 19th-century Sweden, and his act has enormous repercussions on everyone, especially himself. The great cinematographer Sven Nykvist makes a commendable directorial debut with this simple but compelling tale, each frame having the dazzling immediacy of a painting. Although the film is perhaps too beautiful for the harsh realities it portrays, the theme of forgiveness and its handling are salutary. B * -Lawrence O’Toole

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