• Sweden's news in English

Power, Pussy Riot and Redford hit Stockholm

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 6 Nov 2012, 12:26

Published: 06 Nov 2012 12:26 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“With twelve films that pose uncomfortable questions and in different ways challenge power and authority, we discuss...the shapes of power within politics as well as within art and relationships,” reads a festival statement.

“May you come to the attention of those in authority” is said to be the second of three traditional Chinese curses and the one that captures the aftermath, and perhaps the intention, of Russian activist group Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer performance in a Moscow cathedral in February 2012.

The performance and the ensuing trial of several of the group’s members became perhaps the news event of the year and brought global focus on the power wielded by President Vladimir Putin on the Russian courts.

The film Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev tells the story of the Vojna resistance movement that spawned Pussy Riot.


Power within the world of cinema is explored in Love Marilyn, presenting an insight into the mind-set of Marilyn Monroe, one of the most celebrated icons of the silver screen. The film portrays the struggles of being a sole female star in a sea of male leads.

The Perverts Guide to Ideology by Sophie Fiennes and featuring the philosopher Slavoj Zizek, is a cinematic journey into the heart of ideology defined as “the dreams that shape our collective beliefs and practices”.

The power of the mass media is brought under the microscope in the Central Park Five, a documentary by Ken and Sarah Burns about an infamous 1989 case in New York City that saw five black and Latino teenagers convicted for a brutal slaying that they did not commit.

The men were eventually freed from all suspicions in 2002 and the film gives them the chance to tell of their experiences as victims of a city-wide mob mentality fuelled by a frenzied news media.

Among the other films featured in the Spotlights section is The Company You Keep by Robert Redford.

The film tells the story of the Weather Underground - a group of radical anti-Vietnam war activists who launched a campaign of bombing on American soil.

The festival opens on Wednesday with Call Girl, a film by Swedish directorial debutant Mikael Marcimain.

Starring Swedish Star Wars actor Pernilla August as a 1970s society madam, the film is based on the true story of a prostitution case which led to the political scandal which became known as the Geijer affair.

The film is one of 20 competing for the prestigious Bronze Horse, awarded for "Best Film", and has been credited by some observers with taking Swedish film to new heights.

The Bronze Horse has in the past been awarded to the likes of Quentin Tarrantino, Lars Von Trier, Larry Clark and Debra Granik.

The jury this year will be lead by US actor Peter Fonda, still perhaps best known for his role in 1960s cult classic Easy Rider and a revamped version of the film is due to be shown on November 10th in his honour.

Fonda will however not be the only Hollywood a-lister in attendance with Willem Dafoe due to visit Stockholm to collect the newly created Stockholm Achievement Award.

The American actor is one of the highlights of the Face2Face seminar series.

Many of the seminars are in English and Face2Face gives the fans the chance to meet all the directors, actors and filmmakers visiting the festival.

Story continues below…

The festival’s director Gitt Scheynius has described this year’s festival programme as "perhaps our most daring to date" and points out that a third of the films were made by a female director.

Although it is a male director who has been awarded the festival's award for lifetime achievement in the form of veteran Swede Jan Troell.

Troell remains active despite his age of 81, although he is perhaps still best known to those outside of Sweden for his films based on the epic Emigrants suite of novels by Vilhelm Moberg.

The first of the two films, The Emigrants, was nominated for several Academy Awards.

The Stockholm International Film Festival is no glamorous cocktails and canapé mingle, it is a festival for the movie-lover and, there is sure to be something to titillate all tastes.

“May you live in interesting times” is perhaps the most well known of the traditional Chinese curses, but with over 170 films on offer over its 12 day duration, could just as well be a call to get yourself a festival membership card and immerse yourself in the magic of the movies.

Related links:

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:55 November 9, 2012 by teodoratosic
More about movies and fashion :)

Today's headlines
Gothenburg 'one of Europe's most segregated cities'
An Isis flag in Kirkuk, Iraq. Photo: Uncredited/AP

One in ten school students in Gothenburg's north-eastern suburbs sympathize with religious extremist organizations, according to a survey.

Julian Assange
Sweden won't suspend Assange warrant for funeral
Assange has been in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. Photo: Alastair Grant/AP

The WikiLeaks founder has requested a temporary suspension of an arrest warrant so he could leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the funeral of his mentor.

Swedish football diehard who went viral doesn't get the fuss
Possibly the most dedicated fan in the world. Photo: Patric Söderström/TT

A picture of Gefle IF celebrating with the only fan to make a 1164km round trip to see them has gone viral. The Local spoke to the diehard in question.

'I want to see women priests in the Catholic Church'
Archbishop Antje Jackelén meeting Pope Francis earlier in 2016. Photo: L'Osservatore Romano/AP

'I told the pope last year during a speech it is time to no longer speak for women about women, but to speak with women,' Sweden's Archbishop says.

Sweden one of world's easiest places to do business: report
A meeting at a Stockholm office. Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

It is easier to do business in Sweden now than it was last year, according to a World Bank report.

This Swede has built a procrastinator's dream
Anders Åberg has built a website that allows you to hear what’s going on above the Earth. Photo: Personal & NASA

Ever wondered what's going on in the sky above the earth and in space? Now you can hear for yourself.

Presented by Malmö Tourism
Seven reasons why Malmö is the football capital of Sweden
Players from FC Rosengård, Sweden's most successful women's football team. Photo: Hangsna

It’s official, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.

Fake police car driver seized after confronting real police
File photo of a police car. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Three men in a fake police car were left red-faced after they tried to stop a man in southern Sweden who turned out to be an off-duty officer.

This tiny bird can fly for ten months straight: scientists
The common swift while not in flight. Photo: Madis Veskimeister/Wikimedia

Swedish scientists have found that this bird stays in the air for almost a year without landing.

Why the Pope is visiting Sweden next week
Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Pope to nail reconciliation agenda to Lutherans' door in southern Sweden.

Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available