Screened as part of NZIFF 2001
Alternative life in a 70s commune is seen through the bemused eyes of two young children in this spirited, affectionate satire. Suburban housewife Elisabeth walks out of an unhappy marriage and moves herself and her two children, Eva and Stefan, in with her brother Göran who lives in a shared house with a group calling themselves "Together". The new arrivals are just in time to catch the tail end of a discussion about the appropriateness of nudity in the kitchen.
While Elisabeth finds refuge and liberation, her children aren't so sure they like the commune life. The commune members don't eat meat or watch TV. Pippi Longstocking books are "a capitalist and materialistic tool". Pinochet has replaced all traditional bogeymen and the "Together" children insult each other with the epithet "bloody fascists". Göran tells them that the commune binds people together like "oats in a porridge", but the new arrivals soon have a disruptive effect on the already fragile dynamic of this extended family.
Shot in 70s vérité style and featuring a diverse soundtrack from ABBA to the Internationale, Together deftly and intimately captures the spirit of radical politics and communal living. With just his second feature film - the first was Fucking Åmål - the multi-talented Lukas Moodysson, born 1969, proves himself one of the bright new lights of international cinema. His funny, essentially upbeat recreation of a bygone era tells us a surprising amount about where we've got to since. We've chosen Together to celebrate the 30th birthday of the Wellington Film Festival: a comic tribute to the good intentions that spawned us. — BG
I started this project with a lot of sympathy for the characters' ideals and utopian dreams. I really liked them and you don't want to destroy people you love. I tried to write touching, sad, serious scenes, but a lot of the time they turned out to be funny - often funnier to other people than to myself. [...] The bad thing for me was the fundamentalism - the dogmatic rules that could be very hurtful and in the end destroyed the movement's potential to change society. For instance, they really hated ABBA - music that was extremely popular among ordinary working-class people. They could never win such people over by boycotting the Eurovision song contest and stuff like that. I think that if they'd tried to open up they'd have had greater potential to change things. — Lukas Moodysson interviewed by Geoffrey McNab, Sight & Sound, 6/01