Netflixology and cinematography: My favourite Swedish movies – part 1

Sara Roza

Written by Sara Roza

07 Nov 2020

Hej movie junkies, Netflix addicts, and hardcore cinema fans! The upcoming lines and paragraphs will be filled with my biased recommendations on my (and this is important to disclaim!) favorite Swedish movies and Tv series.

In the part 1 of this article, I am going to share 1 TV -series and 3 movies, and in PART 2, you will get to know 1+3 as well! I can’t imagine a better or a more fun way to learn Swedish and get to know the Swedish culture than grabbing a giant bucket of popcorn, light up a candle, grab a cozy blanket and watch some Swedish movies.

Without further ado, here they are! Some (!) of my favorite Swedish movies and tv series. Of course, the masterpieces (discussed below) will be deeply reflecting on my personal taste. And yes, the list might seem uncompleted and short-sighted, therefore I encourage you to challenge me and criticize my taste! 

The entrance to a cinema in Gothenburg.
Let the virtual film festival begin! / Photo: Sara Heindl

Quicksand – Störst av allt

Played by very young (and very talented) young Swedish actors and actresses but definitely is not for youngsters. The series is very intense. Your pulse is pounding loudly through the episodes. At the beginning of the series, a school shooting unfolds into action, but the conditions of course, will be kept in secret until the very end. The script is excellent, the actors (both young and a bit older) are excellent, but the idea, but the school massacre itself is unfortunately not entirely out of the air.

I recommend this for those of you who can endure the more violent, crude scenes (coarse language, sexual violence, abuse, guns, etc.). Buti f you are someone who isn’t necessarily a fan of romantic comedies and sitcoms, and you enjoy something more profound and perhaps psychologically challenging: you will definitely binge-watch this series.

A yellow wooden house in Gothenburg's botanical gardens.
Some places in Göteborg are screaming to be filmed / Photo: Sara Heindl.

Fanny and Alexander – Fanny och Alexander

Oh yes, This is an Ingmar Bergman movie that even won an Oscar in 1984!!

The movie follows through the life of a family, where the dad has passed away. Alexander and Fanny are living happily with their mom, who is planning to remarry a Lutheran bishop. The two children who had a very liberal upbringing – where their parents ran a theater company-  are now to face the new old-fashioned and rigorous father.

The reason why I added this movie to the list is the costumes and the interior design of a former and very different Sweden. As it is a characteristic of Bergman, the movie is bold and very ambitious, and the acting is amazing. The story could be called simple, but the little details are keeping your eyes on the screen.

Even though the official genre of the movie is drama, I’d add another „fantasy” label to the description as well. You’ll see why…

Trees overlooking the river in the centre of Gothenburg.
Purely magical, just like the movie / Photo: Sara Heindl

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Män som hatar kvinnor (2009)

I am nearly 100 %  sure you have heard about this movie, or its US version, or about the original book by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson (yes, I am a big fan of that as well).

However, the reason why I recommend you to watch the Swedish version from 2009 is to simply enjoy the language, the spectacular acting, and the unique mood of the movie. No, it is definitely not the best movie ever, nor is it an easy topic, but if you are up for another mysterious and world-famous story, you won’t be disappointed! It’s noir. It has the “Scandinavian rawness and boldness,” combined with an excellent script and good acting!

I don’t really recommend you to watch this alone, however, since it can be quite disturbing, hence its vibe!  (Also, the book is amazing too!)

The river and trees in a park.
Swedish movies, Swedish landscapes / Photo: Sara Heindl

Evil – Ondskan

“Another coming-of-age movie”… you might think!  But such a good one! It is really intense, and your heart will be beating so fast, you will not even realize that the  113 minutes have passed.

A movie about school bullying and abuse, with a slight but very profound critique on the Swedish society, and upper-class domination, sometimes even sadism. The acting is again, exceptional. You’ll even like the acting of the bully – even though it is not really a rewarding role. The film is provoking and eye-opening and just truly very interesting.

And now it is your chance to leave your movie suggestions in the comment section, or if you dare: critique mine 🙂 

Sara Roza

Written by Sara Roza

07 Nov 2020