29 July 2008 | paaskynen
Men bad, women good
Hus i Helvete (All Hell Let Loose) is a feminist take on the culture clash between first generation immigrants and their children who have grown up in the host culture. It features an Iranian-Swedish family made up of a grandmother, a father and mother, two daughters and a son. The traditional power position of the father has been undermined by his being unemployed. It is the mother's sewing business that helps to make ends meet. The children are westernised and do not respect the patriarchal tradition, which has led to a lot of tension within the family. At the beginning of the film the rebellious elder daughter returns to the family fold after having been banned by her father due to her love affair with a Swede and the termination of the resulting pregnancy. The family reunion on behalf of the younger daughter who is getting married (to escape the parental control at home) is anything but happy when the father attempts to regain domination over his elder daughter.
None of the male characters in this flick really is sympathetic except for the token gay character. They all take advantage of the women in one way or another. In certain ways Hus i Helvete is the feminist counterpart of "East is East" (1999), but it lacks the humour of the latter.
The casts puts in a decent effort. Melinda Kinnaman, in particular, is surprising in the role of the outcast daughter Minoo. However, one can wonder if the ideology did not get the better of the storytelling in this film.