The Emigrants (film)

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The Emigrants (Swedish: Utvandrarna) is a 1971 film directed by Jan Troell. It tells the story of a Swedish group who emigrate from Småland, Sweden to Minnesota, United States in the 19th century. The film follows the hardship of the group in Sweden and on the trip.

The movie is based on the first two novels of the The Emigrants suite by Vilhelm Moberg: The Emigrants and Unto a Good Land. It was adapted to the screen by Bengt Forslund and Jan Troell. The Emigrants stars Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann in the lead, along with Eddie Axberg, Sven-Olof Bern, Aina Alfredsson, Allan Edwall, Monica Zetterlund and Pierre Lindstedt. The Emigrants was followed by a 1972 sequel, The New Land (Nybyggarna), with the same cast.

The film follows a family's odyssey from rural poverty in Sweden to a new life in Minnesota.




Richard Schickel wrote in Life that "Jan Troell has made the masterpiece about the dream that shaped America - a dream, and an America, fast disappearing from our views."[1] Vincent Canby of The New York Times hailed the acting performances, especially from Sydow and Ullmann, which he found to hold "a kind of spontaneous truth, in look and gesture, that does a lot to relieve the otherwise programed nobility, truth and beauty." One complaint was raised by Canby: "As he showed in Here's Your Life, Mr. Troell, who is a fine cameraman, simply cannot resist the extra shot of sunlight-reflected-in-water that becomes just one too many, a thing of movie decoration."[2]

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