See This: Together aka Tillsammans

A moment of joy towards the end of Lukas Moodysson's Tillsammans



There’s something very funny and fairly tragic about Lukas Moodysson’s 2000 film set on a Swedish commune called Tillsammans (or Together, in English). It’s set in 1975, just as the Spanish dictator Franco has been declared dead and follows what happens when Elisabeth, an abused woman and her children arrive and are taken in, grudgingly, by a gang of virtuous, or so they think, communards on a big experiment in free living outside Stockholm. Liberal idealism is at its peak and nurture has the philosophical upper hand over nature. The lentil-eaters believe that lesbianism is a political choice, not a predisposition,  that sexual love should come with no emotional baggage and that washing-up itself may in fact be a bourgeois activity. So far, so very studenty. But, as the Eastern bloc was laid low by Levis, the sandal-wearing residents find themselves beguiled by the new arrivals’ worldliness  – her Jim Capaldi records and her instigation of a game of good old competitive football. And soon they don’t know where they are. By the film’s end the commune is in ruins, having been brought down by the plague-flea of consumerism. And we, the viewers, have had lots of fun ridiculing the hippies for their stupid home-knitted ideas. But what, and this surely is what Moodysson (born 1969) is asking, have we put in their place?

© Steve Morrissey 2001


Together – at Amazon





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Together (2000) Comedy, Drama, Romance | 106min | 21 September 2001 (USA) 7.4
Director: Lukas MoodyssonWriter: Lukas MoodyssonStars: Lisa Lindgren, Michael Nyqvist, Emma SamuelssonSummary: It is the 1970s and a group of very different individuals live together as a community. One of the members' sister, Elisabeth, needs a new place to stay with her children after having had enough of her alcoholic and abusive husband. Elisabeth is neither a socialist nor a feminist nor into the green movement but ends up loving living in the community where they all learn from each other. The film makes a little fun of people with strong ideals and "square" minds whether they be vegans, communists or people who absolutely disgust vegans or socialists. In the end, the message of the film is that people can grow and gain from bonding with each other. It also shows how we need to shape up a little for this to work, either through working on our behaviour that affects other people badly (like alcoholism or abuse) or the need to set boundaries and not let other people walk all over oneself. Written by Maria Norman


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