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Criterion Collection: The Emigrants/The New Land | Blu-ray Review

Following last summer’s restoration of Swedish auteur Jan Troell’s directorial debut Here is Your Life (1966), Criterion presents the director’s most notable accomplishment from his most prolific period, the one-two punch of The Emigrants (1971) and The New Land (1972). Though technically released as two distinct features, they are more of a conjoined saga detailing the travails of America’s Scandinavian ancestors. Richly attenuated, they’re adapted from the celebrated series of four novels by Vilhelm Moberg, Upon a Good Land, hailed as cornerstones of Swedish literature. Until now, these, along with most of Troell’s 1970s titles, (who is known best for his 2008 masterpiece, Everlasting Moments) have been largely unavailable, a pity considering the level of achievement and a handful of Academy Award nominations (including a Best Picture nod) between both features. It’s difficult to imagine a more authentic depiction of the early immigration experience, narratives which have

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