Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

THE NEW COUNTRY
(Det Nya Landet)

 

Year: 2000
Country: Sweden
Run Time: 127 minutes

The United States is no longer unique as a ?nation of immigrants?; in this shrinking globe even a society as seemingly homogenized as Sweden teems with eager refugees and migrants from the Third World, as this raucous comedy with serious undertones demonstrates. Massoud, an Iranian man facing deportation, and Ali, a lonely boy from Somalia in Africa, meet in a displaced person shelter in northern Sweden. Massoud, bitter and cynical about his rough treatment at the hands of authorities, escapes in a rattletrap car, Ali joining him because he doesn't want to be alone in this strange and wonderful land he professes to adore. And thus do the pair embark on a cross-country odyssey. At a strawberry patch, where Ali finds brief employment (as a scarecrow), the duo find an enticing ally in voluptuous Louise, a blonde Scandinavian beauty straight out of a 1960s Bob Hope farce. The former Miss Sweden, freshly-evicted from her residence and reduced to running a hot-dog stand and posing for sex pictorials, joins their little band, promising that she can help them find a safe haven. While exploitive farmers, racist biker gangs and alien-hunting police pose constant danger of discovery, it's desire that threatens the trio. Massoud and Louise have fallen in love, while a jealous Ali grows less enamoured of Scandinavia day by day. (In Swedish with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Peter Birro, Lukas Moodysson

Director
Geir Hansteen Jorgensen

Producer
Gunnar Carlsson, Christer Nilsson

Cinematography
Marek Wieser

Editing
Fredrik Morheden

Principal Cast
Mike Almayehu, Ingrid Luterkort, Michalis Koutsogiannakis, Lia Boysen

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