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Vulnerable Representations of Urbanization: Rekordåren 1966, 1967, 1968… (The Record Years 1966/1967/1968)   
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, Media and communication studies. (Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap)
2017 (English)In: Consuming the environment 2017 / [ed] Eva Ekstrand, 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

”The human in society. Society is a process. The distance between human beings and the decisions about their life conditions is increasing”. These words begin the final voice-over in the Swedish documentary film Rekordåren 1966, 1967, 1968…  from 1969.

This film was the subject of one of the most intense debates in Swedish film culture in the late 1960s. In her film director Lena Ewert focused the city planning of Stockholm. With the national project “miljonprogrammet”(the million program), a mass housing public program supposed to put an end to the housing shortages, as a case Ewert discussed intertwining structures of regional planning, politics and national and international economics. The tendency of the film was overtly political, stating in the beginning of the film that through the “structural change” the institutions of international banking would strengthen their position and thus “influence would lay in the hands of a very few human beings”.

The criticism of international capitalism was however not the major theme of the film. Instead Ewert and her collaborators heavily discussed the cooperation between the social-democratic government, local politicians of different ideological colour and representatives of banks, industry and building companies.

This was not a very unusual theme of leftist activism in Sweden in the late 1960s. What makes Ewerts film especially interesting here - beside the fact that the film even nearly 50 years after its release stands out as a well-made, fresh and well informed cinematic statement of the most critical views of the time – is the way in which the film was discussed. Ewert made the film as a final examination in the national film school of The Swedish Film Institute (SFI). The filmed interviews with politicians, architects and researchers were thus done under the implicit assumption that the film was an internal work not to be shown in public. Short after the theatrical release, the film was withdrawn from public viewings after protests from some of the interviewed persons. Some of these were close friends with head of SFI.

In my paper, I will discuss both the themes of the film and these political implications of how the film met (and did not meet) the public life in social democratic late 1960s Sweden. I will also discuss how the concept of documentary filmmaking changed during these years, making the interviewees (with obsolete notions on objectivity and trust) naïve victims of the observational and interactive modes of the then new documentary filmmaking that Ewert represented. The asymmetric relationship between the (filmed) men of power, the powerless (female) filmmaker and the world of Sweden in 1969 viewed in the film, could finally lead to intriguing perspectives of vulnerability – regarding public life and notions of the representation of reality, as well as power and society in a larger sense. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
urbanization, film politics, documentary, public life
National Category
Studies on Film
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25755OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-25755DiVA, id: diva2:1163461
Conference
Consuming the Environment 2017: multidiciplinary approaches to urbanization and vulnerability, 4-5 December 2017, Gävle, Sweden
Available from: 2017-12-07 Created: 2017-12-07 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Vesterlund, Per

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