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Land of Dreams
dir. Jan Troell / Sweden 1988 / 185’
subtitles: Polish and English
retrospective: Jan Troell


Rollo May, Jan Troell, Tage Erlander, Ingvar Carlsson, Olof Palme

Film description

A three-hour documentary essay about Sweden at the turn of the 20th century, born of Troell's deep anxiety about the Swedish society's moral and psychological condition. The film was his response to a question he had been struggling with: Am I really happy to be Swedish? The film's creation was affected by two circumstances. In May 1983 Troell became a father, when his first child - daughter Johanna was born. At the same time, in the United States, he met the American psychologist and philosopher Rollo May, whose theory of existential psychoanalysis fascinated Troell. His daughter's birth made the reflections about the society his child would live in much more personal: he dedicated this film to Johanna. Rollo May's opinions were the intellectual structure of his observations. The fatherly tenderness of Johanna's portrait - her first steps and discovery of the unknown world - and the discourse about the deepest foundation of the human fate by Rollo May, whom we see on the screen are basic counterpoints of the film made by Troell in five years.

The director's views can be summarised in a statement that despite its material prosperity Sweden is a sick country and Swedes are a nation where life perishes. The film illustrates this state of peculiar psychological anaemia with more than ten stories, introducing various attitudes towards life in situations of conflicts, different behaviours and ways of thinking.

Tadeusz Szczepański

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