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In the 1930s, the feeble-minded Sven's mother dies and he is hired as a farm-hand at the rich, affluent Höglund's farm. He has to work without pay and sleeps together with the cows. He meets the disabled Anna who is the first one to treat him as an adult. One day he has had enough of Höglund's maltreatment and moves in with Anna's family. Written by
Director Hans Alfredsson has stated in interviews that Höglund is based on a real person and that the scene where he throws the poor Månssons money into the fireplace on Christmas Eve are based on a real event. See more »
"Den enfaldige mördaren" is without a doubt one of the best Swedish films ever made. It's a beautiful film, as well as a harrowing experience to watch. Stellan Skarsgård is magnificent in the role of Sven who is generally considered to be an idiot (because he is harelipped and he's therefore unable to speak clearly) -- even by his own sister Vera who is deeply ashamed of him. He gets a job at a factory owner's estate and is treated cruelly by that man (played by wonderful Hasse Alfredson, who also wrote the script and directed the film).
The film is fairly episodic but it definitely works in this film and as Sven's life gets better and better the pace becomes more "fluent", so to speak, which is really brilliant. The cinematography's brilliant as well. This is truly a great accomplishment.
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