The Unpromised Land

86 Min., Sweden – with German & English subtitles

Sabina, together with her two Romany brothers, lives in the small town of Holmsund, Sweden. The three came from Romania and the two brothers now work in the car repair shop of good-natured Martin. Not everybody is as open as Martin to the two brothers and their younger sister Sabrina, who is looking for a job after finishing school. One day Elin, who grew up here, meets Sabina. The two girls at the threshold of adulthood become friends. Shyly and tenderly they develop a trusting closeness to each other despite their cultural differences. Elin who lives alone with her father tells Sabina her story. After a miscarriage, her mother fell into a depression and committed suicide. Her father who we get to know as a rather aloof and unemotional man, has not gotten over her death – that at least is what Elin thinks when she accuses him of never having shed a tear for her mother’s death. He also is on a path to a depression. In spite of all the beauty of an early summer landscape: Something is wrong with this Swedish small town tranquility. The fear of the “alien“ Romanies, who are met with hostility by some of the townsfolk is only one, even though important, indication of this strangely gloomy mood that unfolds in the film’s stories and expressive cinematography. The collapsed bridge across the river is more than just a visual metaphor as we come to learn over time. There was an outbreak of apocalyptic fear in Holmsund, Elin tells Sabina. How fragile is the borderline between being “normal and “crazy”? That’s the question Sabina asks, who wants to leave this place. Will she make it?
The film develops a very precise view on the social reality of this micro-cosmos and the abyss it hides. An abyss of subtle effect and hinted at only poetically.

Screenings – Mannheim
21st November, 8 pm, Kino im Stadthaus I
23rd November, 5 pm, Kino im Stadthaus II
24th November, 11 am, Kino im Stadthaus II


Screenings – Heidelberg
22nd November, 7 pm, Kino II
24th November, 7 pm, Kino II

Age rating: 18

Victor Lindgren, born 1984, is a Swedish film director and screenwriter. He grew up in Holmsund, a small industrial society in northern Sweden. His short films have received international acclaim. “Undress Me” (2013) was nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlinale and received the Teddy Award for best short. With “The Unpromised Land” (2019) he now makes his feature film debut.