When we think of Sweden, we tend to associate it with a mostly blond, evolved -superevolved- open and generous society.
We might think about adding “cold” to the long list of positive attributes that come to mind to even-out the playfield. But this shimmering example for the rest of us to follow isn’t so wonderful according to Swedish-Italian filmmaker Erik Gandini. In his brand new documentary, the Swedish Theory of Love, Gandini takes a loving and critical look at the basis of what forms Swedish society.
So what is that basis? Outlined in a manifesto (by the same name) published by the political elite in Sweden in the 1970s, the quintessential quality of a free and happy society is independence. Only when individuals are fully independent from others, can they have relationships built on authentic feelings towards each other and thus reach happiness. So it turns out, the Swedes have been extremely successful at becoming independent. The state provides all the necessary infrastructure and services for women to be independent from men, for the elderly to be independent from their adult children, and for children to be independent from their parents should they wish to. So where does that lead us?
So what The Swedish Theory of Love asks is whether individualism and independence have isolated the Swedes from each other. Is the price of happiness a lifetime of loneliness and social alienation?
You gotta watch this fascinating doc to make your own mind on the matter. And watch it on the biggest screen you can find please. Because this is a sociological essay diluted with delightful pop art imagery and classical tunes that require the best viewing capacity you can find. Oh, and did I mention the doc is funny? The situations Gardini picks to depict the Swedish reality are utterly hilarious/cringe. It’s the perfect Sunday watch.
Where to watch it:
Not Out on VOD yet, but you can watch it in Amsterdam by booking your tickets here: