5 Movies to Watch Before Coming to Sweden

When the winter is long and relatively dark, the things, you can do in outdoor, are somehow limited. However my friends and I created a great routine to keep us cheerful and in good mood: watching movies together.

In the beginning, we were just watching ordinary or “blah” movies, later we have decided to choose a theme to follow regularly. Obviously, Swedish cinema was the most convenient theme while we are trying to understand Sweden more deeply.

When it comes to Swedish cinema, most people probably think of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (my personal the least-loved one) and Pippi Longstocking. But, there is a lot more than that, and every week we discovered new views of Swedish Cinema. It is super hard to choose some movies to write about, but here is my list, which spans almost 35 years of Swedish cinema, and is in no particular order.

Take your popcorn and start to watch some of these movies before coming to Sweden!

Fanny & Alexander, Fanny och Alexander (1982) – Ingmar Bergman

IMDB: 8.1

Swedish director Ingmar Bergman has a reputation for dark, intellectual and introspective dramas, which is only partly justified because many of his early movies were rather light-hearted. Fanny & Alexander is the longest movie he did (more than three hours).

Fanny & Alexander isn’t exactly a family movie, but it is a movie about family. The family is seen in all its different surfaces through the eyes of two children. The film is divided into three very different parts, each of them showing a different aspect of family life. It is set in Uppsala, Sweden (Bergman’s native city, my current home). The story begins on Christmas Eve, and we are dropped right away into a fairytale atmosphere.

Eat Sleep Die (2012) – Gabriela Pichler


Eat Sleep Die is one of these films which gives you a real life update, and both tears you up and gives you positive view of good people struggling using their positive thinking. Just to make sure, this movie is totally different than Eat, Pray Love 🙂

The movie is a preview into real working life Sweden, and real life for the many immigrants to the Nordic countries. The movie gives the idea that working in Sweden is like everywhere, and it is not like a dream world. Still there’s lot of friendship, brotherhood and love of life, which gives both hope and enjoyment.

The Guardian Angel/Skyddsängeln (1990) – Suzanne Osten

IMDB: 7.0

Somewhere in troubled Europe, a few years before World War I broke out, a handsome young man ends up with an upper class family. With great acting and charming photo, The Guardian Angel is one of promising movies that come from Sweden.

As It Is in Heaven (2004) – Kay Pollak


Kay Pollak’s As It Is In Heaven contains every stereotype of Swedish humanity and inhumanity yet manages to be a pleasing movie. It contains very few mistakes in the screenplay, yet it manages to depict the colors of life in a small community compellingly.

The movie shares the story of Daniel Daréus, a world famous conductor, who suffers a heart attack after a particularly intense performance in Milan. This health scare obliges him to step away from his profession and retire to live in Norrland.

Force Majeure (2014) – Ruben Östlund

IMDB: 7.3

Force Majeure, a Jury Prize winner at Cannes, is an authentic masterpiece by Swedish director Ruben Östlund that is profoundly rich in picturing the relationship between a husband and a wife who go to a luxurious ski hotel in the French Alps for a week’s vacation with their children. You will probably spend the entire film evaluating your own relationship to your own ‘significant other’ until you reach the film’s unexpected ending.

What do you think? What did I miss? Have you seen all five? You may add your suggestions and comments below. If you are curious about Swedish Music, you can check out “Music of Sweden” now.

Featured image: Sofia Sabel

Andaç Baran

Written by Andaç Baran

31 Jan 2016