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The Emigrants
Utvandrarna
dir. Jan Troell / Sweden 1971 / 191’
subtitles: Polish and English
retrospective: Jan Troell

Cast

Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Eddie Axberg, Allan Edwall, Hans Alfredson, Åke Fridell, Monica Zetterlund, Pierre Lindstedt, Agneta Prytz, Halvar Björk,

Film description

Regarded as the best Swedish film ever, another adaptation of a classical work of Swedish literature - this time the epic cycle by Vilhelm Moberg, in which the author touched on the great subject and social problem of Sweden during the second half of the 19th century, i.e. the mass emigration of Swedes to America for economic reasons. Troell made an impressive film saga of epic momentum, depicting several decades of life of Swedish countrymen who make the dramatic resolution - like hundreds of thousands of other desperate men of those times - to leave their homeland and take the risky journey to meet the American Dream, hoping to improve their dire situation: poverty despite laborious work on barren soil, religious repressions against members of a church independent from the state, oppression of farm-grooms by cruel landowners. Although, like in the literary work, the plot is focused on a typical married couple - Kristina and Karl-Oskar Nilsson, in fact, this is a film of an emigrant odyssey of a country community, united by a common goal and by religious and moral ethos. Troell was very careful with decorations, costumes, language and about the social and psychological background in presenting different phases of this risky venture.

Tadeusz Szczepański

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Night and the City by Jules Dassin was specifically selected for the ENH festival by Almodóvar. This film inspired the Spanish master during his work on Broken Embraces (Los abrazos rotos).

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