7.3/10
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5 user 7 critic

The New Country (2000)

Det nya landet (original title)
A 15 year old Somalian boy meets a 40 year old Iranian man on a refugee camp in Skåne, in the south of Sweden. With the threat of deportation hanging over them they decide to the take their... See full summary »

Director:

Geir Hansteen Jorgensen (as Geir Hansteen Jörgensen)
Reviews
9 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mike Almayehu Mike Almayehu ... Ali
Ingrid Luterkort ... Edith
Michalis Koutsogiannakis Michalis Koutsogiannakis ... Massoud
Lia Boysen ... Louise
Lars Väringer ... Kjell
Nicholas Riesbeck Nicholas Riesbeck ... Mackan
Evert Lindkvist Evert Lindkvist ... Gubben
Inga Ålenius Inga Ålenius ... Gumman
Jan Åström Jan Åström ... Big Bert
Simon Norrthon Simon Norrthon ... Greger
Anette Lindbäck Anette Lindbäck ... Eva
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christian Brandin ... Bodyguard
Anders Eriksson ... The father at the gasstation
Hans Erixon Hans Erixon ... IKEA security man
Katarina Ewerlöf ... (voice)
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Storyline

A 15 year old Somalian boy meets a 40 year old Iranian man on a refugee camp in Skåne, in the south of Sweden. With the threat of deportation hanging over them they decide to the take their fates in their own hands and together they go on a journey in the Swedish summer. Written by Fredrik Klasson <fredrik.klasson@telia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | Persian

Release Date:

27 March 2000 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Das neue Land See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Natural Born Killers (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Sommarnatt
Music by Lars "Dille" Diedricsson
Lyrics by Torben Ferm
Performed by Snowstorm
See more »

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User Reviews

Good old SBS!!
5 January 2003 | by starvin4megravySee all my reviews

I first saw New Country in Europe, formatted as a movie over 2 hours long. Back in Australia, the wonderful SBS channel recently showed it in its intended form as a mini series of twice the length.

To cover the shorter version first, I thought this worked wonderfully as an always touching, often funny but largely conventional road movie. 40-ish Iranian Massoud witnesses one deportation too many at his refugee camp and decides not to wait around for his handcuff-assisted one way ticket.

Somali youngster Ali, habitually bedecked in Swedish flags and insignia and over whom Massoud keeps a brotherly eye, suffers no such disillusionment. "Sverige bro!" is his constant refrain, at least during his waking hours; in sleep, though, Ali is forced to relive the horrors that made him a refugee.

When Massoud makes to flee the camp in a spectacularly awful old car, Ali decides to join him on the run, an apt phrase from Ali's point of view, as he appears to display real talent as an athlete. Add one faded Miss Sweden, in the form of Louise - rescued at the roadside, fleeing a porno movie shoot - and the trio is established.

As with all road movies, the path they follow is emotional as much as geographical. There are fascinating encounters along the way and the resolution is satisfying.

The filming techniques used here give the appearance of a "fly on the wall" doco for much of the movie, with almost a Super 8 feel at times. These methods bring an edginess that is entirely in sympathy with the story being told.

If at all possible, though, try to catch the longer version. In this format, a far broader story emerges, in which we see that the director probably intended the title to be slightly more ambiguous than we first think.

Sure, Sweden is the "promised land" of Ali's and Massoud's hopes and dreams. Equally, though, we are shown some of the ways in which a new country is evolving from the monoglot, dare I say slightly insular, nation the outside world may lazily perceive Sweden to be. This cut finds the time to explore several shades of opinion and emotion on contemporary issues, from neo-nazi right through to selfless good samaritan. We observe the downtrodden preying upon the desperate, a tireless campaigner's wishes touchingly granted, a lecherous aging couple trying for one last thrill and - most heartwarmingly - kindness tending to win out over small-mindedness and spite. All that, and a royal visitation (of sorts) too.

Best of all, we get a lot more time to spend with Ali and Massoud. We see their relationship grow from that of two sorely mismatched players in one of modern life's dramas to true comrades who would sacrifice anything for each other. As in all such friendships, the pair teach one another a great deal, and as we bid them farewell we're left hoping this increased knowledge will help them through whatever challenges face them in the future.

The acting by the three main players, particularly Boysen and Almayehu is wonderful, with many fine supporting performances too.


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