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Showing posts from October, 2012

Lisa Ohlin's chronicles Swedish anti-Semitism in 'Simon and the Oaks'

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By Moira Sullivan
Children in Swedish films are known for being teachers to their parents. These films are not made for the youth market but for all ages. Simon and the Oaks is such a film, based on a novel by the Swedish writer Marianne Fredrikssonand filmed by the Swedish director Lisa Ohlin. As in other novels by Frederiksson, the film is about friendship and religious ties.  The film follows two young boys and their families during the outbreak of WW2 and the rise of anti-Semitism in Sweden. Although the Germans didn’t occupy Sweden during the war, there was an arrangement made in which German soldiers were allowed to travel in trains through Sweden to occupied Norway. Jews in Norway were deported to Germany and many Swedes gave safe harbor to some of them. But Sweden thought Germany was going to win the war and their position wasn’t totally neutral including supplying Germany with iron ore for weapons.
Simon meets Isak at a private school in Göteborg, the son of a successful Swedi…