The Emigrants
aka Utvandrarna
Reviewed in June 2010
Director: Jan Troell. Cast: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann. Screenplay: Jan Troell and Bengt Forslund (based on the novels Utvandrarna/The Emigrants and Invandrarna/The Immigrants by Vilhelm Moberg).

Photo © 1971 Svensk Filmindustri, © 1972 Warner Bros. Pictures
Opening stats, amid quiet: dream of all-encompassing empirical knowledge; drowsiness, stupefaction at church sermon, CUs of several faces; watercolorish, Millett/Hardy; boulder on man's leg ; "This is no kingdom you're taking over, son" (Mvs); "If you're going to be a farmer, you'll need a woman"; gently exploratory, panning/tilting camera; MvS shaving x Liv in swing, long braids; zooming as she swings, back and forth; insect sounds, fades in, out; LChatterley; m-in-law emptying pig slop jars, spies LU swinging in stable (preg? apron tying...); cat tied in bag in river; Robert dismayd; cam's agitatoin around Robert vs. serene zoom-out from catbag as it flows downstream; suddenly kids everywhere: all hers? she looks unsettled; "Are you thinking about something" (her first dialogue, at 13m); looks bad for harvest; she encourages faith in God, he's skeptical; 4 YEARS still no oxen, owe 70 more Riksdaler than before; she doesn't want more sex, more kids; pre-MW BBM; "I mean, if we stopped, there'd be no others"; Not till I was so old the moss was growing out of my ears; figs dwarfed in landscape, often fg to bg or bg to fg movements; keening, foreboding sound under oxen driving, stone lifting; Robert (LU's brother) scolded for not yet working at 15; wants to read Nat Sci with Bible; "everything there is to know..." the body, water; LU listening for info or studying his desire?; so HE won't be screwing HER; loses his shoe in water, launches the other - is HE one of the idiots; then hat?; testing liquids, currents?; walk home, dark Nybacken farmer behind, whom Robert has failed to report to this morning; WOULD AUDS EVEN DEAL WITH THIS TODAY?; Robert distr by Nybacken girls; holes in R's socks, rep; quickened montage, food, gma, stables (high, harsh strings); sisters teasing that bro will marry his cow; rice and sugar cane exotic fantasies; NORTH AMERICA, Carolina has best rice; "How far is the ocean?" (fadeout); MvS: "It's all the fault of the Lord's weather"; sun pulverizes hay into "cat's hair"; she worries about blasphemy; daughter finds dead bird, Are we also gong to die? Yes, I guess so; need rain for milk; farmer called Aron?; King Oskar I, governor, chief constable, sheriff Lennegren, deputy, parson, Aron our master - 7 layers of lords and masters; big blond oaf can't even repeat; oaf called Arvid, wants to chop "old bitch" (direct result of catechistic instr in masters; hot nightshirt fight over axe; V. close to Arvid as he weeps; acc of fucking the heifer!; R's secret: conf to ARVID? - I'll run away, during fall timber delivery, heading to America; secret book about US hidden in straw "mattress"; "in America, gentry and simple folk are not divided as they are here!"; no salt herring!; no working more than 12h/day; slaves better treated than most Europeans?; 200 Riksdaler to cross!; Arvid props walking to America; cros rotten last year, now burning up; thunderstorm; lightning set barn on fire; LU gorgeous by smoking barn: You've finally been answered - divine judgment; "Lazy limb of Satan!" - R slapped by farmer in abrupt POV insert; Robert hearing awful ringing in ears; feels like ocean in ear, Can you hear it? superimp rippling water; she's pregnant again!; broke plow on large stone; Is God required to feed them? You made them - tearful accusing, thinks he blames her; Aron has beaten R so badly he won't return; wait, MvS *is* R's brother; Robert fleeing the law; Robert privy to Aron's prviate huffing about his nagging wife; fleeing sheriff @ LU's family house; wants to sell his share of the farm to go to America; MvS has also been dreaming of emigrating; privately stashed newspaper ad; "We may have to work as hard there as we do here" (hard to tell she's awake); They're the first around here to go?; LU perceives huge danger to children; Danjel Andreasson blocked from mucking up parson's ministry; two years' expulsion, jail threatened for continued infringement, DA exluded from communion and church comm (weird intetitles); DA illegally administering holy communion, repast of love; "I don't obey the parson, only the scriptures"; parson denounced by curly blonde Ulrika as "black as the devil"; they call her a whore, and she outs them as clients; "Those lazy potbellies, wallowing in their own fat flesh"; tablers do look wanly attenuated; money or jail: subtitles inform us of later punishments spring 1849; scavenging kids picking in ground for food; Anna's lost, wailin gin barn; was she eating the animals' slop?; stomch may burst from 2x swollen porridge grains; "If she's not better by then [tomorrow], then I guess God will come for her; MvS's father offeing to make coffin (Anna died); LU will now move to America; WINDOW SHOTS; verdant grass, ominous keen; chopping ice for river water to do laundry; clothes themselves freeze and need smashing; packing up?; R enthusing about iron, gold, silver; "in America, a thief is hung immediately"; 6 of us; he even thinks America will improve his earache; she's frozen by story of crocodil eeating woman and three cxhildren; Danjel arr message from God, middle of night to Korpamoen; LU looks so CREDULOUS; Uncle Danjel is coming; "There is a Persecution in the land of my Fathers" (he's exiled, llit ofr fig); eight with children and servants; Ulrika and daughter; R getting Arvid hired as Danjel's farmhand; parson worried about K-O's bad example to other parishioners; tells him HE'S GOT ENOUGH; May you never regret your daring decision (pastor not a TOTAL ogre); that gleaming swing girl is hard to see; last anxious pass over old homestead; yet here we are, back on swing! legs through window; MvS eager to show off new boots; "I'm that way again" in farmwife gingham; "awkward time" and she loses her shit, "It's you whose timing is off!"; wails that she'll be a hindrance; "Our last night at home, let's be friends"; LONG superimp of wagon heading to frame right and zoom/track back from abandoned parents, desolte looking road - all will NOT be all right; music sounding portentous again as wagons leave; POV shaky shots as wagon passes marshes, gates, grass; sun behind them; R wants English grammar book; learn lang during voyage; Danjel has preached that they'll be suddenly fluent in English upon landing in America, apostolic legacy, suffusion with Holy Ghost; Robert obivously skeptical; this gal scared of America; "Maybe they behave wickedly against newcomers"; Angelopoulos shot as they pull past red house; Danjel thinks love of Christ will forfend disease; debates re exactly how bad seasickness is (vs. cholera, scurvy); indigo shadow of boat on blue horizon; portentous POV of waves sloshing on sharp rocks; INTERMISSION (almost exaclty halfway); shipboarding; kids getting shoved from parents; LU reaching; claustr chaos; LU sending plaintive distree signal "Karl-Oskar!"; sep from family for voyage?; breastfeeding in this env; SOUNDS: ropes and winches like rats, coffee like piss; peek into cursive of passenger list; pacing ship for size, prohib at cetrain point; Arvid: What if the sea rises? We'd drown...; bell rung for ice-packed fish, dubious water; no potatoes or milk (duh, Max!); "She [Marta] just has a cold, that one's got bubonic plague"; hand exing out #s in passenger list; R and girl practicing NOT protruding lips for SH sound; ELIN is her name, and Ulrika is her mother; R inspecting her tongue, lang alibi; "What a life! No bloody farmer ordering one around..." (Arvid); LU suddenly agitated; looks a LITTLE spacious below decks: lice; childish, desperate crying, her pride coming through; blames Ulrika "You old whore!"; U: "They were prob reluctant to part from such a FINE woman"; LU would rather kneel before Satan!; You're putting us women to shame! U wants to denude herself to prove innocence; Danjel is NOT happy; Sweden in a bad way if even the lice are emigrating; all washing clothes; Inga-Lena wife of Danjel seasick, he thinks it's proof of listening to devil!; copious barfing - ev started now?; sin repentance - "I drowned a cat once"; food or puke?; Ulrika tempting K-O?, as ship heaves in seasick storm?; MvS thinks plague girl caused illness, not seasickness; LU: "I'll never set my foot in America"; "I've known ever since we boarded"; swaying head from side to side, ship motion + delirium + illness; old man who offered food before has died; calm waters; accordion, clapping; LU boucning baby on knee, looking fine; I-L: "Lately, I've had bloody stools, I guess it's called scurvy"; he's reckoning with God; subtle dissolves?; Ulrika spared both seasickness and vermin?; Danjel's message, LU horrified, of course; heavy rain, match lit, blood POURING from LU's nose; YIKES; "You'll be good to the children? You'll have to be mother and father to them..."; head wrap; sugar cube; he wants her forgiveness, for wanting to go; Barely audible: "I care fo ryou very much, K-O; I always did. We're such good friends"; nothing to forgive; "I'll jus tsleep a while"; LU on brink, I-L died a few minutes ago, Danjel totally unprepped; "She never complained"; LU has pulled through, but looks bereft re: I-L; Danjel jealous of her holy boon; dust to dust, blown from ship rail; baby's cries; it'll be 10 weeks by midsummer; Lesson plan for servants: Wash you rhands before handling the food; This must be b/c Amer food so clearn!; old clothes overboard; America visible after 50 minutes, 10 weeks at sea?; keening music again; ext misty as they look at dim shoreline; "Bring it up now, carry it over" overheard English; ("I'VE been here since 6 in the morning!"); ad for California Gold Rush on galley ships; shot crowded with quarreling pigs; angry cows, snarling dogs; crowd of people, oddly enchanted by all this; 1 of 10 a thief, 1 of 5 a whore?; woozy handheld as they try to sort it all out; bright reds, greens, purples in women's clothes haven't been seen before, lettuce and red jalapenos; rapid cutting here, too; overlaid English dialogue; Am flag stars in star shape; LU's still got baby?; zooms, sun, hand on grass, sea wave sound - is she freaking out?; milk and apples; MvS: "I think America is a good country"; LU looking pained; x huge train; now stuck on crowded train; Robert looks delighted; Danjel overjoyed at profession of fatih on coin, "god-fearing land"; LU big enough to offer U stale bread; bright red steambot wheel, with fancy-dressed antebellums on board; LU: "like gentry back home"; she thought R promised no difference; R: already rich, not rich yet; 250 miles, vs. 1500 miles; Swedish mile 6 times longer; MvS: "I didn't ask to be head of this community"; Now LU's the one who likes her; raging b/c she hasn't had a man? anon bg voice: "C'mon we don't have all DAY!"; K-O has lost Marta?; Ulrika comes up with Marta, just before ship leaves; Appalachian voices coming from boat?; rowing backward into lush green grass; ("What's the name of that sickness?" "Cholera" Burial stiff body); food-borne illness rumor, easy to believe; GLEAMING white milk & eggs, carried aboard; only for gentry; Danjel's baby daughter dies, he takes as lesson in NOT worshiping other idols; "How can I reach Taylor's Falls?" rep ?s, three day's walk, they can't understand his warning about not walking in heavy rain; almost stupefied hunger at cooked pork; trying to grasp 3 days' walk; music sounding more hopeful; green, stony forest, grabby branches spindly; prowling camera; U's daughter wont want to stay with Danjel anymore upon arrival; R wans California; he whispers what that means; earache's back; sounded like insects; they want to hear his earache; lakeside; arr to dingy-looking barn; door opened with gun; boy's Mother in the party; Swedish greeting; "You have the old iron pot, one foot is missing"; from Anders' descr, she can't believe this is his farm; log cabin, crooked, barked more than roofed; 2 ft topsoil, but mosquitos, swamp by water; K-) never satisfied; are they right to be so optimistic; another mile to Ki-Chi-Saga?; hack at tree for land claim; hooting owl as MvS removes hat, rubs hair, raises face to sun with back to us; keening music back, plucked strings, clambering over steep mud slope; chords rising, rising, rising; lake view; cut to him seeing someone else, or reverse long shot on him walking - peaking chord, but then v quiet for him to chop wood off his bark, he's written his name in it, gone to sleep under it, quacking geese; V formation: emigrating ducks!; fadeout; creepy high strings still under sepia credits; Forslund also prod; JT dir, cin, ed; crashing chord repeats at final, end of credits fadeout;

Academy Award Nominations (1972):
Best Picture
Best Director: Jan Troell
Best Actress: Liv Ullmann
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jan Troell & Bengt Forslund

Academy Award Nominations (1971):
Best Foreign Language Film

Golden Globe Nominations and Winners:
Best Actress (Drama): Liv Ullmann
Best Foreign Language Film (cited with The New Land)

Other Awards:
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actress (Ullmann; also cited for Cries and Whispers)

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