Simon Vahlne filming "Fight on a Swedish Beach!!" which is competing at Cannes.
Simon Vahlne filming "Fight on a Swedish Beach!!" which is competing at Cannes. Photo: Ellen Hallin

Swedish neo-Nazi beach brawl hits Cannes

Director: My father said the smartest thing is to ignore them
4:43 min

Two Swedish films are competing for the Palm d'Or in the short films category at this year's Cannes festival. Radio Sweden spoke to Simon Vahlne, director of Fight on a Swedish beach!!.

The film is based on a real-life event. At the age 6 or 7, Vahlne was on a beach on the Swedish west coast with his parents when a group of teenagers started doing “Sieg Heil” greetings. Although the event was upsetting nobody interfered at that time. In his film, Vahlne explores what happens when a group of 60-year-olds decide to confront the teenagers. 

“I made the film because I was interested in the dilemma the adults on the beach are confronted with when the young teenagers start yelling all those stupid things,” Vahlne told Radio Sweden. 

Although it invokes right-wing extremism, Vahlne said he had wanted to explore what happens when people stand up to provocative behaviour rather than comment on current events. 

“But if that can generate a discussion about how one can handle a confrontation from the right wing, of course I think that’s good,” Vahlne said. 

The fight scenes were filmed by the actors themselves who used mobile phones held upright to give a sense of a home-made video posted on social media.

“Since this fight is now taking place in 2016, I think it’s a given that someone would pick up their cell phone and film it, because it’s a very dramatic situation,” Vahlne said. 

The other Swedish contribution at Cannes is the Swedish-Colombian co-production Madre by Simon Mesa Soto, which deals with child sexual abuse.

The awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, May 22nd.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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