The New Man
Julia Högberg, Lo Kauppi, Ellen Mattsson, Nadja Mirmiran, Ann-Sofie Nurmi, Maria Lundqvist, Anna Littorin, Christoffer Svensson, Tobias Aspelin / Fiction / Swedish
What would you give up for your country?
Enforced sterilisation is one of Sweden's best-kept secrets - yet it continued to take place until 1976. By that time, almost 30,000 people had been prevented by the state from having children, on the grounds of mental or physical illness, promiscuity, or even simple poverty. Kjell Sundstedt's script focuses upon young Gertrude (Julia Högberg), the eldest child in a large and very poor family, who is forcibly taken from her home and locked up in a state institution to await the operation - only to become unexpectedly aware of the scale of her sacrifice. Despite the sombre theme, there is real hope and beauty in the assured direction of Klaus Härö, and the expert cinematography of Michael Galasso. The film is perfectly cast, and the resonant performances grace the solemn subject with genuine depth.
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