4

The year is 1975; the death of the Spanish dictator, Franco, is celebrated by Sweden's leftists. Elizabeth (Lisa Lindgren) leaves her abusive husband and comes to live in the commune run by her younger brother, Goran, Gustaf Hammersten, in the suburbs of Stockholm. Communal life is very different from what the middle-class Elizabeth has been used to. Lena (Anja Lundqvist), Goran's partner, is an adherent of free love, and soon she's enjoying a fulfilling relationship with Erik (Olle Sarri), the most revolutionary member of the commune. There's also Anna (Jessica Liedberg), who has decided she's a lesbian and who takes a fancy to Elizabeth. In the midst of all this it's the children who have to cope with the behaviour of their parents: Elizabeth's kids are Stefan (Sam Kessel) and Eva (Emma Samuelsson); Eva's at an awkward age and has difficulty with her mother's new lifestyle.

Together
is the second feature from Lukas Moodysson, after Show Me Love. He was only a small child in 1975 when the events he depicts took place, but he seems to have captured with great accuracy, and a mixture of affection and disdain, what it was like in the mid-'70s, when politics and sexual freedom obsessed so many people. The film is seen through the eyes of the children, and Moodysson strongly makes the point that, ultimately, the children had to cope with the apparently unorthodox behaviour of their parents. In this respect it's a sobering film as much as it is a liberating one. Moodysson and his cameraman indulge in some nasty hand held stuff, with jarringly pointless zooms, early on, but thankfully they settle down and provide a piercingly honest depiction of a very particular lifestyle of a quarter of a century ago.