Taken from the August 2012 issue of Dazed & Confused:
Mia Hansen-Løve is known for her naturalistic approach to portrayals of relationships in movies such as Le père de mes enfants (2009). For Cult Vault the French director recommends 1969’s Adalen 31, by Swedish filmmaker Bo Widerberg, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes and was given an X rating in the US.
“Widerberg was the next big filmmaker after Bergman in Sweden, and suffered a lot from being in his shadow – though you can’t compare them. Adalen 31 is about the first big strike in Sweden, which took place in a small village near the sea and ended in blood. But the story of this major event is told with a perspective that is modern and original, with most of the film centred around the teenagers in the town as they discover life and love. It’s only near the end that you get closer to the heart of the story and by that time you’ve almost forgotten what the film is really about. Widerberg was heavily influenced by the French nouvelle vague, and he used handheld cameras. There’s a grace to the film, but at the same time it’s a big, ambitious film on an important subject.”