Adalen ’31 (1969): Oscar Nominee from Sweden’s Bo Widerberg

Adalen ’31 depicts the 1931 Ådalen tragic shootings, in which Swedish military forces opened fire against labor demonstrators in the Swedish sawmill district of Ådalen, killing five people, including a young girl.

The film was X-rated in the United States.

It won the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film.

The Setting
In 1931, the working-class family Andersson of Ådalen is taking part in a massive sympathy strike for workers in the town Marma. Harald, the father, catches fish and manages to support his family while maintaining a good mood. Kjell, the oldest son, works at the office of the local sawmill manager, and is taught about classical music, impressionism and French pronunciation by the manager’s wife. He plays in a jazz band with his friend Nisse with whom he also discusses things like girls, erogenous zones and hypnosis.

As spring commences, the manager’s daughter Anna comes home for school holiday. She and Kjell fall in love, and she becomes pregnant with his child.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Foreign-Language Film

Directed by Bo Widerberg, who is better-known for the lyric romance Elvira Madigan and Raven’s End, which was nominated for the 1964 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Oscar Context

The Best Foreign Language Film Oscar went to Costa-Gavras’ fact-based political thriller Z.

The other nominees were: The Battle of Neretva from Yugoslavia; The Brothers Karamazov from the U.S.S.R.; and My Night With Maude from France.