Storefront Cinema celebrates with Swedish Film Festival

Storefront Cinema, 711 N. Main St., is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Swedish immigrants in Rockford with a Swedish Film Festival. As Rockford’s only independent movie theater, Storefront can choose its films to fit the desires and history of its community.

Storefront presents an anthology of films intended to inspire the audience to stay around afterward and talk. Viewers are invited to describe their feelings and share ideas about what they saw on the screen. To make it easy to participate, Storefront has invited experts in Swedish film to join them in conversation. They’ll present their thoughts, and the audience can add theirs.

Several themes appear in the calendar. Some films will show the immigrant experience (The Emigrants, Pelle the Conqueror and The Slingshot). You can also see how filmmakers have handled the sense of alienation that Swedes arriving in the promised land and foreigners arriving in Sweden share. Compare how each filmmaker handles this topic, showing the universal experience of strangers in a new country.

On the first Sunday of the festival, Storefront will present a renowned silent film on loan from the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, followed by Persona. You can enjoy the “silence” theme and the accompanying talk by film scholar Tanya Thresher, or continue to view the brand-new film, Songs From the Second Floor, to complete the trilogy now illustrating the chronological evolution of Swedish film.

Storefront will also look at how Ingmar Bergman fits into the development of Swedish cinema. They’ve chosen The Seventh

Seal and Persona to give a hint of Bergman’s evolution as a director. Erik Voss, Rockford’s expert in Scandinavian languages, cultures and film will lecture and lead a discussion. Celebrate the descent into winter with these dark Bergman classics!

Other options are: Astrid Lindgren’s Smaland, Coastline and 1+1001—Sweden and Its History, which provide a chance to reminisce and contemplate the Swedish landscape.

For more information, call Storefront Cinema at 962-3456, or go to or

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