Today it is 10 years since Sweden’s foreign minister, and the woman assumed by many to be a future leader of the social democrats, Anna Lindh, was murdered. Jytte Guteland is a board member of the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund, a project manager at think tank Global Utmaning, a social democratic debater, and was previously chair of the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League. We asked her to write about a film that represented what Anna Lindh has meant to her. She chose the television series Borgen (2010-).
The stateswoman, environmentalist, idealist, realist politician and the woman with power among all the grey suits. In the Danish TV series Borgen, Birgitte Nyborg Christensen enthrals the audience from the word go, as she unexpectedly wins a landslide victory and becomes Denmark’s first woman prime minister. She is a natural leader, but she also proves to be ordinary and human, especially when she is presented with the impossible political problems senior politicians have to deal with.
Director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen has managed to capture the difficulties of politics, without belittling the power of politics to effect change. Birgitte, with her idealistic views, often encounters a reality of seemingly impossible choices, yet amid this labyrinth of problems she succeeds in highlighting the issues she wants to pursue and carries out important reforms. Birgitte’s term as prime minister depicts several political events based on actual events in Nordic history.
In the same way that hacker Lisbeth Salander validates women in the underworld in the film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Niels Arden Oplev, 2009), Birgitte Nyborg Christensen gives confidence to women in the corridors of power. When I watch Borgen, I like to think that Anna Lindh has been a source of inspiration for Birgitte. Intelligent, well-read, committed. Grounded in everyday life with a family and young children. The idealist who also knows the language of power, and can use it. The ordinary people’s natural representative among the anonymous powers-that-be in grey suits. That was how I thought of Anna Lindh. In a way she was my fighter, Lisbeth, and above all my decisive Birgitte. She was the person who gave me the dignity of being represented and not subordinated.
Photo: Martin Adolfsson
Films mentioned in this post:
Borgen (TV) 2010- (IMDb)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Niels Arden Oplev, 2009 (The Swedish Film Database)
Trailer The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:
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