“Sweden is very obviously a thriving film culture at the moment - also our audiences have a lot of interest in Scandinavian cinema in general and Swedish cinema in particular,” said artistic director Chris Fujiwara (photo), of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which will this year focus on Swedish cinema.
“What I find interesting in some of the best recent Swedish films is a desire to look clearly and critically at Swedish society, to see things without illusions and without sentimentality and also in a broad and complete way, to examine how different forces in society work with or against each other to acknowledge problems.”
For the festival unspooling between June 19-30, Fujiwara has selected a programme of a Swedish classic, five features and seven shorts – the new films will all have UK premieres. Two of them, Mikael Marcimain's Call Girl and Måns Månsson's feature debut, Hassel – Privatspanarna (pictured), are centred around the late Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, who was assassinated in 1986.
Inspired by the Swedish brothel scandal in the late 1970s, Call Girl originally included a scene where a prime minister who may resemble Palme buying sex from an under-age girl – to avoid a deffamation case, the producers agreed with the Palme family to cut it. Månsson follows a retired police detective who is desperate to get his hands on the €7.5 million reward for finding Palme's murderer.
Månsson will be in Edinburgh with his film, as will scriptwriter Karin Arrhenius for Fredrik Edfeld's father-daughter drama Faro, and Karzan Kader for Bekas. The feature line-up is concluded by Mia Engberg's experimental documentary Belleville Baby – and a silent-cum-orchestra Mauritz Stiller's Sir Arne's Treasure (1919).
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