by Åsa Lindholm
”It is hard to be born in a country like Sweden, you never have to be afraid, really afraid, here, you can be welfare-afraid, but not really afraid like in panic- hunger- and starvation-afraid. And when you find yourself standing there, -in that dangerous place´, then you go straight back to Sweden and all bad things are gone.”
Once upon a time there were ”The children from the noicy village” ( Astrid Lingrens novels: Bullerbybarnen) trolls, forest-beings and mermaids.
Now there´s Dr Phil, Teletubbies and women in shawls. It all exists at the same time and nobody knows whats real. Reality became like fiction, a struggle between evil and good, it became a bestseller novel. There is no ideology for comfort, the INDIVIDUAL has to fight in a world where the strongest will survive.
We say we are a country filled with security-junkies, our security is like anaesthesia to us. It was a long time since our country, Sweden, experienced war, poverty and oppression. We watch things around us happening, always from a distance. With a tear in the corner of the eye we followed the broadcasts when the wall fell in Berlin. Everything that is great and overwhelming happens somewhere else. In Sweden we know that. Still, -it´s all here, inside the people that no longer look like they did a hundred years ago. Tolerant Northerners have opened their frontiers towards the world and the sorrows of the world became our own, without us really knowing how it happened.
Fat Girl, Tam and Mary Lou are childhood friends. They used to call themselves ”the white, the yellow and the black” and they lived `the idyllic swedish childhood, til it all of a sudden came to an end. Now they are grown ups and Fat Girl has written a bestseller about what happened, but nobody, except herself, understands that her story is true. And because of that she wants to die and because of that, the only thing that keeps her alive, is the strange man who stalks her in the park, screaming, calling her `Fatso´, yelling that she should be put on a diet and get a life.
Tam has a child, a boy namned Svante, but sometimes she feels that he´s just a void. A child of anguish who she every day puts in front of the Teletubbies, until it is time to zap over to Dr Phil. The medical service can’t stop her tears and the forest-beings are transforming into human shapes.
Mary-Lou is called The Fairy by her girlfriend Bibbi. She is not as innocent as it seems. Mary Lou is like a blank piece of paper, she has never met her father from Namibia. She doesn’t know what’s expected of her, therefore she is always adapting herself. She has never chosen anything, she has always been chosen by things around her. So when Tam’s internetdate Nicola chooses her, she doesn’t know how to say No.
The three women are travelling towards the truth they all know, but never have had the courage to see. Not until the country and the air they breath are changing and starting to speak to them, can they go back to being themselves again. And in the middle there is Bibbi, some people would call her ”the lesbian manhater”, whose, mildly said, furious lifecrisis, starts a course of events that nobody can stop.
This is a scary, sad comedy about being a young woman in Sweden, the most equal country in the entire world. We have it all, and we choose and we choose and we choose and in the end, -we find out that we chose the wrong thing.