The year is 1650. After the 30 year long war Sweden have settled down, and the upper class has gained a great deal of riches from this war. The then queen Kristina have dictated that every lord shall own the right to tax the farmers living in an area of one mile surrounding his homestead.
Amongst all this we find the little village of Brändebol in Småland, Sweden. Where the lord Barthold Klewen have dictated that since the farmers have failed to pay their unfair taxes it's is his god-given right to use them as servants at his great farmstead of Ubbetorp. The farmers of Brändebol gather around and swears to each other not to yield to this decree. The man in the center of attention among all these men are the farmer Ragnar Svedje. Who refuses to give up his living body to slavery and shame.
This is indeed a timeless tale of the little mans struggle to hold on to what is rightfully his. To fight on against impossible odds and never giving in to the oppressors. All that Vilhelm Moberg sums up in his ca 300 page long novel Rid Inatt. And this movie version of his masterpiece tells that tale exceptionally well. This indeed is a textbook example of how to make a movie based on a book. By sticking to the source material, altering things only when necessary. And I dare say even the alterations here is for the better. The ending of the book left me somewhat empty, but this just ties it all up so beautifully.
Then the credits rolled I just felt that this movie had left me with a message, not forced down my throat like some films tend to do, but with an inner wish to never give up what is mine, never let myself be trampled upon, and to always hold on to what I believe in. This needs to be seen by anyone who are interested in Swedish culture an heritage. Even if you just want to see a good movie this should be on your list. As a fan of Vilhelm Moberg's work as a whole, I was not disappointed. So go on and watch this as well, and remember. Freedom is not given. It must be taken.
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