Sweden – partner country: currently the most exciting European cinema coming to Motovun • Selected films by Bergman, Moodysson, Andersson and Ninja Thyberg
When Swedish filmmakers Ruben Östlund and Tarik Saleh won Palm d’Or and Best Script, respectively, for their provocative films in Cannes this year, it hardly came as a surprise. Particularly not to Motovun Film Festival, which has always kept up to date with the films of both new and old Scandinavian masters. Last year, it was Ninja Thyberg who won Propeller of Motovun for her feature debut Pleasure; three years earlier, Ruben Östlund became a Motovun Maverick.
This is why it was only logical for MFF this year to proudly present the currently most exciting European cinema in cooperation with its partners, Swedish embassy in Croatia and Swedish Film Institute.
The varied Swedish program will include not only the works of such greats as Ingmar Bergman, Lukas Moodysson and Roy Andersson, but also the less known gems from the Swedish cinematic treasury.
The Groundbreaking from Sweden program will include four must-see films selected by Swedish Film Institute. It is dedicated to the pioneering works of Swedish cinema, relevant beyond the borders of their country and of their time and inspiring for generations of filmmakers throughout the world. One of them is The Witches, a controversial silent-era masterpiece by Benjamin Christensen, one of the earliest horror films, that celebrates its centennial this year. Inspired by the paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, Christensen criticizes the cruel bigotry of blind superstition. The contrast between stylized scenes of torture and quasi-documentary approach thrilled the surrealist artists of the day just as it did the audiences. The film was shelved in several European countries. Another film in this program is Il capitano by Jan Troell. In this Silver Bear winner for Best Director in 1992, stealing of a bicycle leads to the murder of a family. Based on a true story and shot soon after the event, the film received mixed reviews of both public and critics at the time.
By selecting the films for the Young and Restless program, Sigrid Hadenius will make sure that a breeze of Swedish subversive and free spirit blows the streets of Motovun. This program about the young people and for the young people offers five films about the rebellious youth, ranging from romantic adolescent classics like Show Me Love by Lukas Moodysson and A Swedish Love Story by Roy Andersson to more recent works like Sami Blood by Amanda Kernell (an awarded coming-of-age drama dealing with the Swedish society’s perception of the autochthonous Sami community, often referred to as the Lapps). There will be something for short film fans, too. The Uppsala Presenting Pick ‘n’ Mix program offers the most intriguing short films made in Sweden in the past decade. These films were also picked by Sigrid Hadenius.
And finally, there will be some special screenings, too. Join us in Motovun and enjoy the bizarre allure of the Swedish cinema and have a whiff of Swedish culture!