The New Land
1972 | Drama | 202 minutes | Swedish with English Subtitles
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.
Why Stream This Film?
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)
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Superior performances, photography, many stirring scenes. A real winner.
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.
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.
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