A film released this week wants to convince Swedes that the country is not facing “national crisis and system collapse” despite what the current popular narrative seems to suggest. With a reworking of Sweden’s national anthem, ‘Du Gamla, Du Fria’, the film attempts to drive home the message that “Sweden is fantastic”.
Over a series of shots conveying Sweden’s natural beauty, social cohesion, sports and cultural output and of course its residents, eight well-known Swedes read an updated version of the anthem with the following lyrics:
You ancient, you free
You thunderous, you mighty
You, with your Jante Law and daddy days
Your coasts, your craft, your late-night shows
Your name travels the globe… but always returns home
To your caretakers, to your coffee drinkers
Your success…. your sing-alongs…. your suburbs
You who dares to fight the fight
To lead the cause. Stand tall
In your gymnasiums, your mosques, your arenas
Through your visionaries and characters
You ancient, you free
You brutal, you minimal, you brilliant
The lyrics are read by Holocaust survivor Hédi Fried, TV host Lotta Lundgren, handball star Linnéa Claeson, songwriter Thomas Stenström, comedian Nour El Refai, punk-rocker Kajsa Grytt and hip-hop artists Lamix and Pato Pooh.
Those behind the ‘Sweden is Fantastic’ campaign are remaining anonymous but said that no political party was involved with the creation of the two-minute film or its accompanying website.
”The reason for our anonymity is simply that we as individuals are not interesting or relevant – we want the film to carry itself. Our purpose is to highlight the factors that make Sweden great, a counter-response to the ’good ol’ days’ mentality,” one of the initiators said in a press release.
The group castigated the media for creating “an image of the future that is unnecessarily dark, when in fact the Sweden of today has never been so strong, immense and beautiful.”
“Sweden is continuously performing highly in [the] largest global rankings – the country continues to share the highest ranking in the capability to reach all United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, ranks globally second to highest amount of startups worth 1 billion dollars per capita and continues [to] outperform in entertainment with the second-highest ranking of top singles in international charts,” the press release said.
The film is quickly picking up steam on Facebook, where it has been viewed nearly 90,000 times since its release on Tuesday.