Wednesday, April 15, 2009

there aren't any european super heroes (did you ever think of that?)

I've seen a movie and a British TV series recently that kind of reminded me of each other.

First there was the Swedish film Everlasting Moments (Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick). It tells the story of a working class Swedish woman in the early 20th century. Her 'everlasting moments' are the images she captures with her camera, and the movie shows clashes between creativity, poverty, and gender roles, in a changing society.

Then I watched the British TV series Cranford, which, similar to so many other British films and TV series (and novels), is set in the 1840s. It tells the stories of the people who make up a small village. The main theme is, again, the changing society; who stands to gain something from social change, who would loose.

Both stories put major emphasis on education. It is through education people achieve change in their lives, and education is what some of the young main characters in both stories long for, but are told they cannot have.

Probably because I live in the US, the stories struck me as extremely European. They show people living their lives within a societal structure, and they show the struggles that ensue when people feel limited by circumstance.

American popular fiction is not so much concerned with that. I think that is a pity. Because the limitations exist here too. We just don't talk about them as often.

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