One of Sweden's finest actors,Per Oscarsson, best known for his performance in the 1966 film Hunger (see my review there) contributes another disturbing creation in this worthy entry from then up and coming director Jan Troell.
His elementary school instructor is a mixture of meanness and incompetence who simply cannot control his class of wild sixth graders even when he tries to clamp down hard. One might think of the harassed Dr Rath played by Emil Jannings in the classic The Blue Angel or for a closer Scandinavian comparison, the authoritarian sadist in Alf Sjoberg's Torment (as written by Ingmar Bergman) though there is more of a late 60s feel to this portrait of young ebellion and frustrated adult driven discipline.
Troell, a former schoolteacher himself, made the film with 16mm equipment, more manageable in the actual Malmo area classrooms it was shot in, and adding a grainy documentary style look to the finished work. He was his own cinematographer on this among others of his oeuvre and has a clever photographer's eye for the vivid stray detail .Adding to the sense of realism, actual elementary students were used in some of the smaller roles.
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