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Roy Andersson: The Greatest Analyst of Swedish Culture!

A few minutes spent observing the population of Stockholm, the cleanliness of the streets, and the seriousness of the inhabitants are enough: Sweden is as precise as a clock. The system protects workers, the most vulnerable populations, and promotes equality and democracy. It is even considered the world’s first democracy according to rankings in this field. Behind this appearance of pure democracy, behind this iron paradise, lies a reality where the peculiarities of some and the originality of others are crushed by the overpowering norm. The norm is a paradise that leads to hell.

Roy Andersson: The Greatest Analyst of Swedish Culture!

Roy Andersson, like some artists today, has a career that starts in advertising and ends in the arts. Kulturama in Stockholm dedicated an exhibition to him some time ago. Today, personalities like Lars Von Trier or Jeff Koons have followed the same path. Throughout Roy Andersson‘s work, whether in his commercials or short films, there is a chilling second degree typical of Nordic culture and more specifically of Swedish culture.

The director focuses on the Swedish concept of “Lagom,” which can be translated as “not too much, not too little, but just enough.” The “Lagom” values are sobriety, simplicity, and conviviality. But this simplicity can be criminal, deadly in its blindness.

At the beginning of “World of Glory,” a truck carries the naked inhabitants from one city to the other side of the mirror. This introduction to Roy Andersson‘s film immerses us in an imaginary holocaust that reigns in the calm of a society where legislative norms and social norms have been established as unshakable principles.

Then the truck disappears into the darkness, and we discover the life of a civil servant. Simple and boring until horror strikes, the director sheds light on the flip side. The world’s first democracy, one that takes sensitivity into account, where tolerance is total, is also the one that accepts the norm without challenging it. The day when injustice stems from this sacralized norm: what will happen then?

C.E.O HELL SINKY, author, journalist, documentary

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