The New Land

1972 | Drama | 202 minutes | Swedish with English Subtitles

Info

Karl-Oskar, his wife Kristina, their three children, along with Karl’s younger brother Robert and Robert’s friend Arvid, settle by  Lake Ki Chi Saga in rural Minnesota. They pool all their resources and energy to build a farmhouse before winter comes. Once the farmhouse is built and the land cleared, Robert and Arvid decide to head to California to search for gold. But misfortune strikes them both: Arvid dies in the desert from drinking tainted water and Robert’s money is stolen by a fellow Swede. Meanwhile, Kristina gives birth to two more children. Her doctor warns her  she might not survive another pregnancy. Kristina dies in 1862 and Karl-Oskar is bereft. He withdraws as he watches his children marry, have children and families of their own. Karl-Oskar often visits Kristina’s grave. On the tombstone, beneath her name, is inscribed We Shall Meet Again. In the distance there is hammering and much activity as more Swedes start settling in the Minnesota Territory.

Cast
Max Von Sydow (Karl-Oskar Nilsson) / Liv Ullman (Kristina Nilsson) / Eddie Axberg (Robert Nilsson) / Pierre Lindstedt (Arvid)
Why Stream This Film?
Even though The New Land is a continuation of the film The Emigrants,  it can be seen on its own. It’s a hard, brutal, and tragic life the Nilsson’s encounter in the new land. Yet, despite it all, Karl-Oskar would say to his wife Kristina, “Our children and grandchildren will thank us for coming to America.” Film critic Gene Siskel listed The New Land #1 in 1973 and one of the Ten Best Movies of the 70s.
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Foreign Language Film
  • Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
  • National Board of Review: Winner, Best Actress (Liv Ullman); Best Foreign Language Film
  • National Society of Film Critics: Best Actress (Liv Ullman)
Superior performances, photography, many stirring scenes. A real winner.

Leonard Maltin's MOVIE GUIDE

THE NEW LAND is a film filled with original touches and intelligent insights, into the hardy, heroic families who built the foundations of the United States a century ago.
John Hofsess

MacLeans

What director Troell achieved seems no less than a masterly exercise in filmmaking, a rare union of carefully nuanced performances from a cast led by Max von Sydow and Liv Ullman. The long but selective narrative is alert to the sins that taint national history as it is sensitive to the small dreams that ultimately seal the course and quality of lives.
Lawrence Van Gelder

The New York Times

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