Week-long film festival celebrates modern Swedish film

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Department of Scandinavian Studies and the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center will host a film festival called “Beyond Bergman: Modern Swedish Film” the week of October 11-15. A Swedish film, including the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, will be featured each day at 7 p.m. in the Hanson Hall of Science, room 102 (726 35th St.). All film showings are free and open to the public; however, some are not appropriate for children.  

Monday October 11: Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick (Everlasting Moments) by Jan Troell (2008).

Not rated.

This film follows the life of Maria Larsson, a working-class woman; her husband, jovial when sober and aggressive when drunk; and their six children. A kind stranger teaches Maria how to use a camera she won in a lottery. This early 20th-century story about love and hope is adapted from a novel based on the real life of Maria Larsson, a relative of Jan Troell's wife Agneta, who is the author of the novel.

Tuesday October 12: God afton, herr Wallenberg (Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg) by Kjell Grede (1990).

Not rated.

In this film starring Stellan Skarsgård, Kjell Grede explores Raoul Wallenberg and his efforts to save Jews in Budapest at the end of World War II. The film is set in the bleak city and captures the despair and angst of the remaining Jews. Wallenberg, an attaché of the Swedish Embassy, saved thousands of Jews from deportation by giving them Swedish passports and access to so-called "Wallenberg-houses" in Budapest. Wallenberg was taken to Moscow on January 17, 1945, and his fate remains a mystery.

Wednesday October 13: Män som hatar kvinnor (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) by Niels Arden Oplev (2009).

Rated R.

This thriller is based on the first and global bestselling novel in the Millennium trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired to solve the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, who vanished 40 years ago. He has the young female hacker Lisbeth Salander to help him. The duo connects Harriet's disappearance to several unsolved murders in Sweden. During their investigation, they unravel and expose the dark side of the Vanger family.

Thursday October 14: Tillsammans (Together) by Lukas Moodysson (2000). 

Rated R.

The setting for this movie is the communal vegetarian home inhabited by two married couples, three gay individuals and three children. The commune receives three new carnivorous members when a divorced sister and her two children are invited to move in. This film explores the multitude of personalities and complexity of human relationships as well as the changing cultural and social norms of the 1970s.

Friday October 15: Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) by Tomas Alfredson (2008).

Rated R.

This film is an adaptation of a Swedish vampire novel set in a Stockholm suburb. It tells the story of friendship and love between a 12-year-old bullied boy named Oscar, and Eli, a vampire girl. Eli, who has been 12 for 200 years, gives Oscar strength and new confidence, but he is faced with a difficult decision when he realizes Eli is a vampire.

The film festival culminates in a film symposium on Saturday, October 16, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall in Denkmann Memorial Hall (3520 7th Ave.). The symposium brings together Swedish and American film scholars, as well as Augustana faculty and students, to discuss the films viewed during the week. A buffet lunch will be offered for $10 per person. Advanced registration for the symposium is required by Friday, September 30; no registration is required for the weekday film showings. For more information about the films or to register for the symposium, please visit  www.augustana.edu/bergman.

The film festival and symposium is supported by the Swedish Council of America in Minneapolis, Minn.; the American Scandinavian Foundation in New York, N.Y.; the American Scandinavian Association at Augustana; and Augustana College. For more information, contact Kamy Beattie at kamybeattie@augustana.edu or (309) 794-7721.