“Kan du Vissla, Johanna?” (Can You Whistle, Johanna? or Wanted: Grandfather) is a classic tell of innocence, childhood, and friendship. It involves two boys, Berra (Tobias Sward) and Ulf (Jimmy Sandin), two friends who have a problem they must remedy: Berra doesn’t have a grandfather.
The two friends often play together and on this particular day Ulf tells Berra that he is going to buy a cigar for his grandfather’s birthday. Ulf is excited because he is going to get some money from his grandfather. Berra can’t understand why Ulf is getting money when it is the grandfather’s birthday. Ulf doesn’t really know either; he just knows that every time his grandfather visits he either gets money or a gift. Berra is impressed and wants to know what else grandfathers do.
“Well….they treat people to coffee and eat pigs’ trotters,” Ulf explains. “And they take you to the lake so you can fish.”
These all sound like wonderful things to Berra, but why doesn’t he have a grandfather? Ulf is so lucky. Unfortunately, Ulf doesn’t know why his best friend doesn’t have a grandfather, but he knows where he can get one.
So off they go the next day to the local nursing home where they find Nils, a lonely old man who they believe will make the perfect grandfather. The boys soon find out that not all grandfathers are the same as Nils doesn’t like pigs’ trotters, and he can’t take them fishing, but he can do other things that makes him the perfect grandfather for Berra.
“Can You Whistle, Johanna?” is a delightful film with wonderful performances by the young actors. Based on the book by Ulf Stark, this is a film that can be enjoyed by the whole family. The innocence of childhood is portrayed in a marvelous and honest way.
This film won two awards at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival:
The Adult’s Jury Award for Short Film, and the Children’s Jury Award for Short Film.
It also won the Wurzburg International Film Weekend Children’s Film Award.
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