THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING PIPPI LONGSTOCKING or DAYS OF SWEDISH CINEMA
“It is sensational at Pippi’s! We can do what is not allowed at home, “ enthuses one of the friends of the famous red headed rebellious girl Pippi Longstocking. If you’d like to be reminded of how sensational it is at Pippi’s or what sort of dirty tricks she and he friends can perform, visit this year’s 57th Zlín Film Festival. And there is more! In addition to the film adaptations of the books of the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren the organizers of the festival are bringing another 30 Swedish feature films for children and youth to Zlín.
The main impulse for choosing this Scandinavian country was an important anniversary in the field of film making for children and youth. In 2017, 110 years passes since the birth of internationally recognized children’s literature author Astrid Lindgren. Who would not be familiar with the incredible expeditions of Pippi Longstocking, the adventurous story of Ronja, the Robber’s daughter or the thrilling investigation of the little detective Kalle Blomkvist? Film adaptations of these and other novels will be brought to you during the festival in a special section dedicated to this famous author.
Sweden is among the countries known to be very productive in the field of film making for children and youth and to be awarded success for this production even at international festivals. Two other mini-sections of the Zlín Film Festival will include thematically and temporally diverse selection of films for children and youth. One of the most famous ones is an early work of world-renowned director Lasse Hallström My Life as a Dog (1985). This melancholic view at the childhood of a little boy Ingemar, his first love, family sorrows and happy moments of a small Swedish village life even brought him an Oscar award nomination. Charms of the Swedish countryside and landscape will be shown in films like Hugo and Josephine (1967), a summer story of friendship of two children, as well as in an emotional film Elina (2002) describing a tough situation of the Finnish minority in Sweden in the 50s.
In the youth section, we will be reminded of a debut of Lukas Moodysson Show Me Love (1998), acclaimed by the critics, about two completely different girls and their relationship which disturbs the atmosphere of the society around them. A talented director and a screenplay writer Josef Fares will share his experience from the wartime Lebanon and subsequently from his new home in Sweden in his drama Zozo (2005) on Monday. Drama Sebbe (2010) collected a number of festival awards, including the Zlin Film Festival Golden slipper for the best film for youth, it is a story of a fifteen year old outsider seeking a getaway from a difficult family social situation and constant bullying at school. Your spirits can be lifted by watching a bitter-sweet comedy Simple Simon (2010) starring Bill Skarsgård as a young man suffering from Asperger's syndrome.
“Child in Films by the Classics“ is a festival section dedicated to the experienced audience and film enthusiasts. In this section we should not forget to mention one of the most acclaimed directors of the world cinema Ingmar Bergman and his three hours longm partly autobiographical saga from the early 20th century Fanny and Alexander (1982) which earned him his first Oscar award. Sunday’s Children (1992), a film by Bergman’s son Daniel Bergman, shows the audience how well the director managed to turn his fathers‘ literary childhood memories into a movie. An exceptional film style by Roy Andersson will be presented in his debut A Swedish Love Story (1970), a love story of a fifteen year old Pär and a thirteen year old Annika.
In the selection for the Days of Swedish Cinema we can not leave aside animated films for children, especially two names. Per Åhlin, director, illustrator and animator whose two feature films will be screened during the festival - Thundering Fatty (1974), a combination of live action and animation and a story of an adventure of living toys and The Journey to Melonia (1989), an adventurous fantasy film loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Åhlin‘s filmography also includes cooperation on medium-length animations for the youngest viewers The Little Ghost Laban (2007) and The Little Anna and her Tall Uncle (2012). These films will be presented in Zlín by one of the Swedish animation directors Alicja Jaworski- Björk who will sit on the animation film jury.
Alicja Jaworski- Björk, of course, will not be the only Swedish guest at the 57th Zlín Film Festival. For example, director Catti Edfeldt, an extraordinary woman of many film professions, will become one of the main jury members. She will be presenting other Swedish film, especially the ones in the Astrid Lindgren section since she worked as an assistent director on Ronja, the Robber’s daughter, or starred in the film and the series The Bullerbyn Children.