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Nordic Genre FilmSmall Nation Film Cultures in the Global Marketplace$
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Tommy Gustafsson and Pietari Kääpä

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748693184

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748693184.001.0001

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Voices from the Past – Recent Nordic Historical Films

Voices from the Past – Recent Nordic Historical Films

(p.47) 3. Voices from the Past – Recent Nordic Historical Films
Nordic Genre Film

Gunnar Iversen

Edinburgh University Press

Nordic cinema since the 2000s has turned to history to a greater degree than before, employing historical subject matter and settings to entertain, show off costumes and tell stories, but also to contribute with images and sounds to what historian Robert A. Rosenstone calls ‘that larger History . . . that web of connections to the past that holds a culture together, that tells us not only where we have been but also suggests where we are going’. This chapter discusses the connections to the past made by the genre of the historical film. By historical film I mean films that create stories that take place in the past and not the present. The main questions are: How do Nordic filmmakers interpret and construct Nordic history? How do Nordic filmmakers engage with the past? And, what constitutes history for current filmmakers in the Nordic countries? I discuss four different feature films, from four different countries, in order to show the scope of the new Nordic historical film and different varieties of engagement with the past.

Keywords:   Nordic historical film, engagement with the past, Arn, medieval epic, A Royal Affair, Enlightenment, Erotics, King of Devil’s Island, Finnish film Sauna, History as Horror Fantasy

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