• Sweden edition
 
Apocalypse soon: Disasters abound at Stockholm Film Festival
Scene from Haeundae, directed by Je-gyun Yun (South Korea)

Apocalypse soon: Disasters abound at Stockholm Film Festival

Published: 10 Nov 2009 22:21 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Nov 2009 22:21 GMT+01:00

As it comes to a close it seems like 2009 will be remembered as one of the most worrying years of the decade. It has seen the worst financial crisis since the great depression, a deadly virus which is still taking its toll and some of the more troubling regimes in the world getting closer than ever to adding nuclear weapons to their arsenal.

Wars and local conflicts are still tearing apart societies worldwide and even the Nobel Peace Prize was given out not to someone who has helped bringing one of them to an end, but to someone who hopefully will do so in the future. On top of all this, world leaders will meet in December in Copenhagen to try to deal with the results of global warming and save us all from an apocalyptical global nightmare caused by climate change.

It is in this climate that the organizers of Stockholm's annual film festival decided to concede to the sign of the times. The 12 day festival, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, will be screening 180 films from more than 50 countries, many of them strongly related to or inspired by the troubled present. This years' festival spotlight, for example, is "Apocalypse – The time is now". Catastrophes, both natural and man-made, will be the focus of many of the festival's films and events and a green carpet will join the traditional red one in order to highlight the environmental issue.

"The Apocalypse theme was chosen because we found a number of truly interesting films from all around the world dealing with the subject in their own unique way", says George Ivanov, the festival's programme director, "I think the reason for that is that we're becoming really aware of what it means to be a global community". "In a sense this is the era of globalism", he adds, "and we have to face the great opportunities and dangers of it. This is a very cinematic concept".

Some of the festival-goers might not be looking for doomsday prophesies, so here are some of the films you might want to avoid if you're trying to get away from troubling headlines and warnings of the end of the world as we know it: "9" is an animated dystopian sci-fi film by Shane Acker in which machines and artificial intelligence have taken over and mankind has been obliterated. "The Road" by John Hillcoat, is a post-apocalyptic tale based on a Cormac McCarthy novel, in which a father and son fight for survival in a world no longer suitable for human life. "Haeundae" is a Korean disaster movie about a tsunami heading to a popular beach resort, and "Earth Days" by Robert Stone is a documentary about the evolution of the environmental movement since the early sixties.

Other films under the apocalypse title are "The Cove", a documentary about the massacre of thousands of dolphins in Japan made undercover by American photographer Louis Psihoyos, "Happy End" about humanity on the brink of oblivion, and the short film "Waiting Room".

But the festival's programme isn't limited to films about future and present disasters. A rich programme featuring some of the most interesting films made this year will combine screenings in seven Stockholm cinemas along with special events, outdoor screenings, competitions, galas and award ceremonies. This year's visionary award and lifetime achievement award will go to French filmmaker, Luc Besson and American actress Susan Sarandon respectively, and a record number of directors and actors will join Sarandon and Besson in attending the festival

Still, while the programme may include something for every taste, those who are interested in current events and international politics will find several particularly interesting screenings. Some examples include Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air" which echoes the current financial crises and features George Clooney as an executive who specializes in firing employees for cowardly bosses, "London River" by Rachid Bouchared which deals with the aftermath of the London 2005 Terror attacks, and "The Time that Remains" about the daily lives of Israel's Arab population.

Other interesting titles dealing with current events from around the world and interpretations of reality in some of the world's most complicated regions are "Sin Nobre", an acclaimed thriller depicting Mexican gang culture, "Heliopolis", a critical look at present-day Egyptian society and two films about Iran. "Green Days" by Hana Makhmalbaf is the first big screen take on the dramatic events of the June presidential elections and the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mehran Tamadon's "Bassidji" is a documentary about the extremist Iranian police militia.

These are indeed troubling days and organizers and visitors of major cultural and artistic events worldwide are looking for a balance between ignoring the headlines and being overwhelmed by them. The Stockholm International Film Festival succeeds in doing exactly that. Films, as Jean-Luc Godard once said, are something between art and life, both giving and taking from it. They are not always about avoiding reality by creating alternative worlds; they can sometimes be about understanding the world better, maybe even changing it. And, as the festival's spotlight indicates, the time for that is definitely now.

Related links:

David Stavrou (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:48 November 13, 2009 by Akhtar Rasool
Quoted from above, the main link:

Films, as Jean-Luc Godard once said, are something between art and life, both giving and taking from it. They are not always about avoiding reality by creating alternative worlds; they can sometimes be about understanding the world better, maybe even changing it. And, as the festival's spotlight indicates, the time for that is definitely now.

I want to share as, if one person recognises, realizes himself, his presence, his purpose, then he can understand the world far better otherwise never and ever. So in cuch darkness, we then sometimes get the chances (miracles, movies, short plays etc) to see somthing happening strange, makes us to ponder, think about our presence in this world. It leads us to serious thinking, care, peace, brotherhood etc............................in short getting life like a part of heaven
19:11 November 22, 2009 by aneleH
I think this festival only shows us what we're getting ourselfes into by our stupid acting towards the world. All the people around the world should learn how to treat the environment correctly. Shame on us.
Today's headlines
New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Business and Money
Global profit boost for Sweden's Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken is Sweden's second largest bank. Photo: Bertil Eriksson/TT

Global profit boost for Sweden's Handelsbanken

Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search
Navy vessels remain in the archipelago. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search

Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange prepares for court ruling
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange prepares for court ruling

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is "confident" his asylum status will be resolved, as he awaits an imminent ruling on his case by a Swedish court. READ  

Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

Interview
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Comedian Al Pitcher has launched his new tour. Photo: www.alpitcher.com

'Swedes are funnier than they think'

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

979
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN