Moodysson tackles transexuality

Lukas Moodysson's latest film Container was part of the official selection of the Panorama section at the Berlin Film Festival last week.

For those expecting another feel-good movie, or at least a happy ending, such as Fucking Åmål (1998) and Together (2000) from this provocative director, those days appear to be long gone.

With Lilya 4-Ever (2002) and A Hole in My Heart (2004) Moodysson moved into dark themes such as human trafficking and the grim side of pornography. In the latter, where Moodysson tackled the life of a porn filmmaker who works out of his apartment in the Swedish suburbs, the creative use of image and sound signals a clear break from conventional narrative form.

Moodysson calls Container “a black and white silent film with sound”. The Berlin debut was sold completely sold out so another screening had to be added. Shot in Chernobyl, Transylvania and Trollhättan – Sweden’s “Trollywood” – the film takes up transexuality.

According to Moodyssons’ own synopsis:

A woman in a man’s body. A man in a woman’s body. Jesus in Mary’s stomach. The water breaks. It floods into me. I can’t close the lid. My heart is full.

The theatrical release of Container is March 10. An installation is planned in conjunction with the film debut with artefacts used in the creation of the film.

Another outstanding Swedish presence at Berlin was in the short film category. Jonas Odell’s Never like the first time received a Golden Bear for best short film, the highest award in its class. It is an animated film on the first sexual experiences of four people. The film also won the Bratek award at the Göteborg Film Festival.

Moira Sullivan

Moira Sullivan is a freelance journalist and member of the Swedish Film Critics’ Association