This film continues from where Utvandrarna (1971) left off. Starting a new life in the New World from almost nothing is not easy. The winters and summers are more extreme than in the Old World. But the immigrants are rewarded for their hard work. They now live a better life than they did in Sweden. Bad times also come, however. The civil war starts and the Sioux Indians make a bloody uprising against the white settlers. Karl-Oskar's family survives all these. His brother, Robert, decides to seek his fortune in the gold fields of California. He never reaches California but acquires some fortune from his boss who dies of yellow fever on the way to the gold fields. An immigrant Swede dupes him of this fortune. Robert returns to his brother where he dies from a disease contracted on the trip. Kristina, whose thoughts never leave Sweden, has several more births and gets pregnant again against the advice of her doctor. This last pregnancy kills her. The children grow up and take over the ... Written by
Together with its companion movie, Utvandrama (The Emigrants) made a year earlier this film is a moving and realistic depiction of the lives and hard times suffered by so many 19th century emigrants to the America.
When the phrase 'the American dream' is used almost as a cliche, it would be good if those wanting to appreciate the real meaning of the phrase saw in the characters portrayed here the lives of those to whom that dream was a beacon of hope in a desperately hard world.
Neither of these movies will appeal to those who want to see a glamourised and exciting West so loved by Hollywood, but in the hearts of those who think that, sometimes at least, films should serve the higher good of telling the truth, these movies are little gems.
8 out of 10
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