Sweden in the early 1900s was a time of social change, unrest, war and poverty.Maria, a young, working-class woman, wins a camera in a lottery and herdecision to keep it changes her whole life. The camera enables Maria to see theworld through new eyes but it also becomes a threat to her nearly alcoholicwomanizer of a husband as it brings the charming photographer “Piff Paff Puff”into her life.
In the early 1900s, Maria, a young working-class woman, wins a camera in alottery. Her first impulse is to sell it for grocery money but instead decides tokeep it, changing her whole life. Maria is married to Sigfrid Larsson, an unskilledlaborer, hard worker, lothario and periodic alcoholic. Already a mother, she willeventually have seven children.In an attempt to sell the camera, Maria seeks out photographer SebastianPedersen, also known as “Piff Paff Puff," who persuades Maria to try the cameraat least once before selling it. Pedersen teaches her the fine art of photographyand Maria sees the world through new eyes while “Piff Paff Puff” sees Maria asthe beautiful, talented woman she is.Maria and her family are weighed down with poverty and hard work. But in theevenings while Sigfrid sleeps off drunkenness and the children are tucked intobed-sofas and pulled-out drawers, Maria develops her pictures in the kitchen.Neighbors, potted plants, the children in the yard, the cat all become vibrant andimmortalized in her photographs. Maria’s pictures begin narrate the reality inwhich she lives. She documents poverty, change, the joys of life and theoutbreak of war, as well as a whole society undergoing transformation.Her photography and her relationship to "Piff Paff Puff" open a possible path of freedom and independence to Maria while also posing a challenge and threat toSigfrid. Still, the camera and "Piff Paff Puff" give Maria new strength and arouse