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RAVEN'S END

Sweden, 1963 (MIFF 1966, Programme 9)

Director: Bo Widerberg

Raven's End is a glimpse of a fledgling writer's life in a working class district of Malmö in 1936. The film describes how the aspiring novelist comes to terms with his drunkard father and embittered mother before he decides to take his future in his own hands by leaving for Stockholm.

Widerberg has made this a distinctly personal film. His sensitive feeling for atmosphere and location has enabled him to produce an authentic piece of period reconstruction. The claustrophobic flat, the drab buildings, the malaise of the inhabitants, the distant murmurings of Nazism - the director evokes all these skilfully, and with great attention to detail.

In a poll of Swedish film critics, Raven's End was placed third as the best Swedish film of all time. Perhaps its importance lies in its integrity, its sad charm, and the characterizations, splendidly acted, which linger in the mind - the father, self-taught expert on the high life he has never known; the long-suffering mother; and the hero, Anders himself, longing for escape, yet loyal to Raven's End and all it stands for.

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