We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As I scrolled through movie listings recently, Mrs. Bulldog suddenly said "Oh, I read that book, it was good."
A Man Called Ove was the listing. It's Swedish, with subtitles. Outside of Bergman's work or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I'm not aware of many Swedish films. But it was a slow day and I gave it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised.
It's a poignant drama with just enough comedy to keep up interest. An everyday man's life, one which is heavily driven by routine and basic beliefs and expectations. A curmudgeon who finds himself put into uncomfortable situations, and how he responds to these circumstances. Naturally, since this is for public consumption, we determine he's not as basic or curmudgeonly as we'd expect. He's just seen a lot, done a lot, and determined that he's comfortable doing what he's doing. Whatever you want to do, fine. Don't make it his problem, but he doesn't care, really.
He takes his shots at the government (as you can imagine, there's enough Socialism in Sweden that it's a common theme), calling its functionaries "whiteshirts". His life, and as he finds out the lives of others, are not enhanced by the appearance of these "whiteshirts". He also does his part, and more, to keep life comfortable for others. Mainly by making it comfortable for himself, which has knock-on effects.
It's on Amazon Prime, if you have it. If not, I'd recommend it as a rental. It's not Bergman, but I think the Swedes have a unique view of life and it was the kind of movie that allowed me to relax, and think about life just enough to be both entertained and informed.
I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Finns, Swedes, and Norwegians were everywhere. There were many "Ove's around, including in my own family. I'd like to think I have some of his traits...the good ones...as well. Neighbors helping neighbors was always the order of the day. I laughed and cried, both reading the book and watching the movie. Backman's other books can be a little dark, but they are worth a read as well.
I'll check it out. Saw a Russian movie on Amazon Prime called The Duelist that I highly recommend. It's heavy on the violence side, but I had no idea the Russkies had it in them to produce something so captivating.