ALEXANDER RYNÉUS, MALLA GRAPENGIESSER, PER BIFROST: GIANTS AND THE MORNING AFTER
I saw a clip of this Swedish documentary in Malmø at the DocIncubator presentation of new projects in connection with the Nordisk Panorama. Promising it was and I was not disappointed, when I saw the final result, a warm and beautifully shot documentary from the small community Ydre; quite right decision of the organisers to put the film in the main competition of CPH:DOX.
There he is, Sven-Inge, the mayor who welcomes new citizens to Ydre by going to the parents and the baby with a small welcome gift for the latter – encouraging the parents to continue to make babies in a town suffering from depopulation. Around 3000 they are but there is a slight increase, which makes the old white-bearded man happy. You see him often in the film studying the population statistics, when he is not taking part in the many activities that the film crew has caught so well during filming over several seasons.
And there are other characters of importance – the owner of the
sawmill, a third generation factory, that has problems to overcome but succeeds. You see him with his wife, and you see him in a lovely scene with his daughter, where they are decorating the xmas tree. Daughter: Cool down, let’s have a nice and quiet xmas, she says. Father is stressed but ”yes, and Aleppo is liberated”! Dialogues like that pop up in the film in situations of understated humour that there are so many of. The film lives from situations that are put very well together following the seasons.
And for a jealous Dane: Swedish summer, forest, it’s green, lakes, cows, horses and blond young girls and boys, who sing and dance, when it is mid summer and make activities like setting up ”Annie”. There is a positive welcome attitude to immigrants and to the parliament member, who come to learn about the problems the community have, like falling prices on milk.
11 meter tall Bule and the saga about him, the Giant, the symbol of Ydre, is embracing the film and its characters, Sven-Inge and his lovely citizens in a film that is much more than a report from a depopulated town due to the excellent cinematic storytelling that made me sit with a smile the whole film along. This is how life, according to the filmmaker’s interpretation, should be lived in small towns!