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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

THE SWEDISH BOYS - Short Film Collection

The new short film collection from NQV Media is out next week to watch On Demand. The Swedish Boys is a collection from our Scandinavian neighbours, who brought us ABBA, Ikea and now seven short films about young gay men. Take a look at each of them below...


Starring: Charlie Gustafsson

Director: Jerry Carlsson

Joel has made up his mind that he’s going to tell his parents that he’s gay. In a monologue that follows his stream of consciousness in the few minutes prior to his admission, we watch and hear him him psyching himself up for the big moment, battling with his inner demons and trying not to overthink what the outcomes could be. A simple but effective short about that pivotal life moment all Queer people will recognise, this five minute short is the exact realisation of its title and does precisely what it says on the tin.


Starring: Julija Green, Eric Ernerstedt, Viktor Åkerblom

Directors: Eric Ernerstedt, Julija Green

Jacob is best friends with his high school ex-girlfriend Polly and it’s many years since he told her that he’s gay. When she comes to stay, he’s excited for her to meet his new partner, Nicholas, but when they do, they get along a lot better than he is expecting. What ensues is a soapy bisexual love triangle that sees tears aplenty and loyalties tested. An effective mid-length film about the dangers of mixing romance with friendship, a trio of naturalistic performances do well to anchor this otherwise over-earnest relationship drama in reality.


Starring: Josef Waldfogel, August Segerholm, Simon Reithner

Director: Nathalie Álvarez Mesén

Filip adores his older brother Sebastian and follows him around everywhere. One evening, he witnesses his brother kiss his best friend and Filip doesn’t know how to react. A short about growing up and experiencing the world through new eyes, Filip’s world view is challenged by something that he doesn’t understand, especially as he begins to pick up on homophobic bullying within his school. Acutely observed with an impressively nuanced performance from its child star, this is an examination of heteronormativity and its consequences for children who have been indoctrinated by it.


Starring: Pär Kunze, Petter Nyherg, Moa Horgren

Director: Alexandra Litén

Johan is lost in his thoughts in the Swedish countryside in the height of summer. Joined by his friends, they laugh and joke and enjoy the sunshine, but he is unable to shake what’s on his mind. A short about infatuation, Johan cannot shake his yearning for his best friend. An observational film in which we see this idyllic evening through the eyes of their subtextual feelings, it’s a cute little romantic film, even if its quality is somewhat grainy.


Starring: Emil T. Jonsson, Mikael Bergsten, Kerstin Gandler

Director: Nils Emil T. Jonsson

In one long tracking shot, we follow Adam as he goes to dinner with his wife but is interrupted when he sees something from his past. Heading out to a nearby gallery, he goes back to speak to the man he hasn’t seen in years, with whom he shared a love that never was. A chance meeting about the inescapable temptation to revisit the past, this is a film about the curiosity to imagine what could have been. Laden with sad nostalgia, Adam’s feelings typify the baggage that we all carry into a relationship, where the pain of the past is private but still real.


Starring: Monica Albornoz, Gabriel Nal, Robert Ingvarsson, Adel Ahmad, Gloria Tapia

Director: Valentina Chamorro

Eva has returned to Sweden to visit her son, with whom she has a complicated relationship. Despite having learnt sign language, she struggles to speak with him, both because of his hearing loss and because of the vast emotional distance between them. She has moved back to her home country because she didn’t like the life of an immigrant, but her son struggles to understand that. On this trip back, she tries to finally get him to understand, with the help of his new boyfriend. A touching short about communication and that titular “distance”, it’s a film that contemplates globalisation on a personal level too.


Starring: Tom Ljungman, David Arnesen

Director: Elin Övergaard

Axel and Love are walking the streets of Stockholm at daybreak after a night of partying, tired and half-cut. As they stop to admire the view over the city, their talk turns to matters of the heart, but what’s not being addressed is the feelings that one or both might be harbouring for the other. An intense and passionate short about that moment of revelation, it gets squarely under the skin of this pair, whose relationship is on the verge of changing forever.

Sweden is a fantastic country with an alarmingly consistent cultural output that considerably over-achieves, considering its small population. But whether it's on the shores of sun-drenched lakes of the summer countryside or the overcast urban sprawl of its cities, this collection serves a delectable smorgasbord of Swedish Queer Culture, pulling together seven disparate strands of gay men in one of the happiest countries on earth.


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