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  • Gareth Crook

A Swedish Love Story (1970) - 6/10

One of auteur Roy Andersson’s early features before he went full Roy Andersson. This was his debut. It’s still funny, but no where near as controlled as what was to come, but even so there are glimpses. Annika (Ann-Sofie Kylin) and Pär (Rolf Sohlman) are young and in love in Sweden in the 1970s… in case you’d not guessed from the names. Or the fact that it’s called A Swedish Love Story. So what makes it especially Swedish. Well honestly not much. I mean other than the obvious cultural elements, it’s a universal story. Boy meets girl. I will say though that 70s Sweden looks a damn sight better than 70s Britain. Pär heeds his grandfather warning not to be lonely as Annika contemplates the dangers of missed opportunities. They’re both in moped gangs, not the same one but their paths keep crossing and even with the sparse dialogue, it’s clear there’s a connection. It’s an ode to being young, the possibilities, the frustrations, the endless time. Especially in the summer. Hazy evenings and the importance of belonging. The music, despite the leather jackets is very twee, maybe that’s the most Swedish thing about this. That and the slow pacing that adds so much to the longing of the love story. There’s a lot more going on here aside the central love story though. Dysfunctional families, social pressures. Depression, a dose of toxic masculinity, some domestic violence and the fact that the couple are from very diffident worlds. It’s a surprisingly rich narrative. Kylin and Sohlman carry this though. Their love honest and truly believable. Sure it’s all very innocent and perhaps a little dated to modern eyes, but it’s still a lovely film and although largely unrecognisable as an Andersson film, it’s a must see for fans.



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