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How do Swedes survive?: director David Fincher

Joel Linde · 1 Dec 2011, 08:16

Published: 01 Dec 2011 08:16 GMT+01:00

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Although born in the ski Mecca of Colorado, Fincher is raised in California which put him way outside his normal habitat as he was shooting in the Swedish winter landscape.

"When the sun goes down at 2 in the afternoon, and the winds whip up and it's 30-below, you realize these people are made of heartier stuff," Fincher was quoted telling USA Today.

"And you think, 'My God, how do you survive this?'"

But Fincher admitted the characteristic landscape had added a lot to the movie.

"People don't live on top of each other in apartments," he told the paper.

"There's a house every mile and a half apart, and you're in 4 feet of ice. It's unbelievable. There's a reason this doesn't take place in Cleveland."

Story continues below…

So to answer Fincher's question, The Local asked a few people on the town just how they go about surviving the Swedish winter:

Click to see their responses

Related links:

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:16 December 1, 2011 by johan rebel
Much as I like crystal clear, blue and sunny skies,several feet of snow and temperatures way below freezing, my solution is simple: avoid the country for most of the winter.
10:01 December 1, 2011 by philster61
How else do Swedes deal with it? Suicide of course...
10:16 December 1, 2011 by EP
With booze of course ...
10:20 December 1, 2011 by rise
You cannot be too soft if to stand the Nordic winters.

And suicides? Sweden has about the same rate as Canada, US, Norway and other western countries. France excluded since people are killing themselves at a higher rate in that country:

11:24 December 1, 2011 by kreed_uk
He was only joking around. But still it is quite high especially when compared to the UK.

This map is a better one. http://chartsbin.com/view/prm
11:58 December 1, 2011 by skogsbo
kreed/phil, I think the problem with suicide stats is how the numbers are gathered, Sweden was consider the first to actually count the number accurate, thus labelling itself as capital for it.

Thing is winter isn't that long, the snow will be on the ground soon, making it lighter and in 3 weeks time the days start getting longer again away. Plus, with winter due any minute I'll be able to get out skiing! :)

How you view winter and other such things probably says more about your general outlook on life than wintering in Sweden.
12:08 December 1, 2011 by Svensksmith
Whenever I visit LA, I wonder the same thing.
12:19 December 1, 2011 by kreed_uk
skogsbo it's obviously a myth that Sweden has an amazingly high suicide rate, We can look at Russia for that. However, according to the stats it is high and that is amplified by the fact that the country has such a small population.
12:24 December 1, 2011 by robban70226
how do you survive this?'"

simple, lot's of vodka and sex
12:27 December 1, 2011 by SeeK
It's simple - you enjoy yourself. At least I do. Get an offroad bike, a quad or even just a car and have as much fun as you can. Get studded tyres for the bike and go riding on a frozen lake. Stuff you couldn't do in summer, and it's so much fun it's ridiculous.
13:41 December 1, 2011 by Mark737408
caffeine and antidepressants
14:54 December 1, 2011 by occassional
Very good question Mr. Fincher. A lot of the vague introverts you see roaming the streets,shops and tanning booths here, owe their very existence to those harsh winters. Their general numbness and behavioural spasticity attests to that. Psychopathic behaviour may have once had a strong genetic "survival of the species" value and as it is a form of survival we are talking about here, that might well be the key to surviving harsh winters. Now, where did I put that chainsaw oil...
15:21 December 1, 2011 by skogsbo
'kreed' the stats are not amplified because of the low population, there are calculated per capita!

'SeeK', yeah I've crossed lakes in winter, that I've swam in during summer, there is always something fun to do if you go looking for it.
16:16 December 1, 2011 by Tanskalainen
They survive by daily masturbation. What's the mystery here?
17:03 December 1, 2011 by skogsbo
tansk, you know the saying; that 50% of the population claim to reguarly, the other 50% are lying!
17:45 December 1, 2011 by GLO
Dont forget they flee to Thialand every winter....
18:19 December 1, 2011 by fikatid
Booze cruises and bringing back boxes of beers and alcohol.....
19:19 December 1, 2011 by Svensksmith

But you do it daily in the summer, too.
19:31 December 1, 2011 by tgolan
I really don't understand the question, but then again it was asked by some one who needs air-conditioning most of the year , where kids can't play outside because it's too hot or fear kidnapping, and Earthquakes God they are scarey.......

Wow and the smog in California, all of my friends have moved out of California !!!!!!!!!!!!!

20:36 December 1, 2011 by Vill
Based on the article I read the other day, I thought Swedes survive the winter with the love and affection of farm animals. *cough cough*
00:53 December 2, 2011 by shiraz
How do they survive this ? it seems the swedes have a LOT of sex (as many of responders already mentioned). Bless them and may all have more joy and love ! That is why we feel nearly every part of the world should have such a loving culture.
18:39 December 2, 2011 by tadchem
Seasonal depression is a result of too little sunlight - specifically, too little UVA on the retina. You should get at least 1/2 hour of sunlight with UV into your eyes (no sunglasses!) every day.

That promotes the production of melatonin in the epithelial cells where it can directly affect the brain, lifting your mood. If it is always at the same time of day, so much the better.
21:40 December 2, 2011 by jvtx3232
I think Michael Olsson gave the best answer: "Of course you get cold, but you have to take it like a viking, like we do here."

Per-Åke Hansson gave the second best answer.

Also giving good answers were Jeanette Mandl and Michaela Mark.
21:45 December 2, 2011 by Tanskalainen
@Svensksmith Actually I'm doing it right now.
22:22 December 2, 2011 by swenrika
@Svensksmith #7

LOL... so true :)
01:59 December 3, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Swedish winters are still better than British winters.
06:40 December 3, 2011 by Investor612
The director thinks Sweden's winters are bad? He should try a winter in northern Minnesota.
08:27 December 3, 2011 by skogsbo
Exactly aren't winters here just like those in the northern part of north america? For any educsted person it should hardly be a relevation or news, plus hasn't he ever watched ice road truckers! ?
13:28 December 3, 2011 by edward sudlow
On December 1st philister61 says that Swedes suvive the winter by suicide I think the suicide problem is caused by lack of cash,the fact that they lose their jobs easily therfore cannot pay the electricy bills and have thier power cut off.
14:33 December 3, 2011 by glamelixir

Two things. 2009 and Wikipedia? Seriously?

Try 2010 WHO instead. Not that you will find the holy truth, BUT if you are going to quote in the name of statistics at least try to get serious.
19:43 December 3, 2011 by skatty
How do Swedes survive? If you look at the map the capital city of Sweden, the most populated one is on latitude N59 degree, even Moscow is on lower circle (N55 degree). I am talking about Stockholm, Luleå is on N65 degree, and Arctic circle is on N66 degree.

Swedes survive the long cold and dark months on the top of the planet by watching lot of TV; drinking at weekends to death; wondering how grounded and smart, and clever, and …… (just count anything good in the world) they are; hold fast to their jobs as long as possible, but complaining about the tax as much as possible; believing that immigrants make them poor, but accepting immigrants in contrast to their believes, imagining that Sweden is the best country in the world (on the top of the planet) and don't understand why immigrants can't realize this simple fact that anybody knows it from the birth; and making miserable anybody, who doesn't act, believe, or fit with them.
22:11 December 3, 2011 by Investor612

Even in northern Sweden the winters are considerably warmer than in northern Minnesota. In mid winter northern Minnesota gets a couple hours more daylight than Sweden so that somewhat compensates for the colder temperatures.
23:49 December 3, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Minnesota is full of mud ducks who drive the speed limit. Don't go there.
17:06 December 4, 2011 by Migga
@ glamelixir

Here you go;


Sweden has about the same rate as Canada, US, Norway and other western countries. Anything else is a pure myth. Just made up stuff by people on this site spewing their hate towards Sweden and Swedes.
21:39 December 4, 2011 by Streja
I live in a flat or apartment as the Americans say, and most people live in cities or towns in Sweden.
01:07 December 5, 2011 by Tanskalainen
@Streja What time should I be over with the wine and flowers?
14:48 December 5, 2011 by philster61
Just made up stuff by people on this site spewing their hate towards Sweden and Swedes."

Not that Swedes do themselves any favours in public relations

As for whoever said Swedes have more sex:. You need to move with the times. Swedes have about as much sex as nuns.....
18:01 December 5, 2011 by AmericanSwede16
it is very true. I said the same thing when I first visited Sweden. It was kind of scary to have such little hours of sunlight. When I left, I felt so relieved. I guess it just takes time to get used to it. You feel like you are in the twilight zone during the winter. Americans aren't used to that. Even in the dead of winter America gets nearly more than 10 hours of sun and very few rainy days.

In Sweden, even when the sun is out, it feels like it's dusk or dawn for the entire day.
08:49 December 6, 2011 by Norpan81
Oh it is so refreshing to hear all your comments on how crap it is in Sweden and how boring Swedes are! Certainly it is original and innovative!

It is too cold!

It is colder somewhere else so they are not that hard!

Too much snow!

Much better snow somewhere else so why do they think they are so awesome?

It is what it is. Sweden is great, sweden is crap. Just like most places. If it is more crap than good for you- move. At least then Sweden will be a little less crap for the rest of us. Hehe! :D

Happy Yule everyone!
15:57 December 6, 2011 by philster61
Most of use do move Norpan. So you can be left to weaken your already shallow gene pool .......Happy sisterizing
16:38 December 6, 2011 by stillwatersrd

'When I visit LA, I wonder the same thing'.

I was in LA in March and was thinking along the same lines. Stockholm would be a cakewalk.
17:22 December 6, 2011 by Åskar
Someone once asked on a message board what it was like in Churchill MA, where polar bears roam the streets searching the garbage bins for food. One of the answers he got was about the horrible light, how it never gets dark in Summer, so I couldn't refrain from commenting that I grew up more or less on the same level and has spent most of my life North of it and that it is looking forward to those long, light summer evenings that makes us survive the long, dark winter nights.
20:08 December 6, 2011 by sgt_doom
Frankly, I'm kinda sorry he survived it.

That "The girl with the dragon tattoo" remake of his really sux, and sux badly.

Nobody can replace Noomi and the rest of their cast.

11:36 December 7, 2011 by Norpan81
At Philster61 - Hahahahahahahaha! Now, get back to your knitting.
15:21 December 7, 2011 by donaswe
I like winter, cold and snow. And Sweden and swedes. And I am italian...Come on Fincher....go home!
18:20 December 7, 2011 by AmericanSwede16
investor and skogsbo... Winter in northern Minnesota is pretty bad, but I think the author of this article is stressing the short hours of sunlight that is hard to survive, emotionally mostly. Not so much the amount of snow.
20:51 December 7, 2011 by waffen
How do Swedes survive?

Because those Swedes whose ethnicity has deep roots in Sweden are Nordic, and true Nordic people live with the cold weather as normally as they breathe.

What I cannot fathom is how people live with hot and humid weather.

That kind of weather is only fit for crocidiles and anacondas, et al, whereas land-dwelling creatures otherwise suffer.

There is no getting used-to hot and humid weather.
18:33 December 8, 2011 by Rapalyea
Winter in Chicago

We were standing at our 40th story window [the entire building has nothing but glass windows floor to ceiling]. Early February. Lead grey skies. Blustery wind. 19 degrees F.

"People should not need to live like this." So said my co-worker from Puerto Rico. Suicidal would have been insufficient to capture the moment. Think Dante's Inferno with a whiff of hope. After thirteen years I crawled my way down to the North Georgia Mountains.

Summer is like Spring and Winter is like Fall.
15:17 December 18, 2011 by flintis
How do Swedes survive the winter!!!! Exactly the same way we ex-pats survive the winter here in Sweden you get used to it.
16:30 January 4, 2012 by Roy E
Swedes survive their winters the same way Americans in Minnesota, Montana, Vermont, and Alaska survive their winters, you Hollywood moron.
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