Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian
Saga 1 ”Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian” is a light-hearted exploration of contemporary Scandinavian America.
“My grandparents all came from Sweden, . . . from Denmark, . . . Finland, . . . Iceland, . . . or Norway.” As generations pass, though, how can I think of myself as Scandinavian? Especially how can I think this, if I speak only English and have never been to any part of Scandinavia? Between 1850 and 1930, North America drew almost 3 million people from Scandinavia, as most North Americans refer to the five Nordic countries. What has since become of all those immigrants? As the 21st century begins, a third of the population of Minnesota alone identifies itself as stemming from Scandinavia, even seeing themselves as being “pretty much 100% Scandinavian.” The film explores the experience of immigration, the process of Americanization, the importance of landmark institutions such as churches and colleges, the power of family and community, the vitality of arts and craft, the matter of language, and the enjoyment of humor — it’s a rich journey, fueled by gallons of coffee.
Length 60 min
Saga 2 - Get set for a film whose content is sneaky, self-effacing humor and whose cast includes Ole and Lena, those mainstays of Scandinavian American jokes! Award-winning Swedish filmmaker Stefan Quinth and former American Swedish Institute staff member Dr. William Beyer have searched Minnesota and neighboring U.S. states for what has tickled the funny-bones of Scandinavian Americans. Jokes, stories, stage performances—it’s all here and it’s all funny. Vaudevillians such as Swedish immigrant Hjalmar Peterson or “Olle i Skratthult” and the Olsen sisters from Norway provide context for contemporary musicians, authors, and comics such as Norwegian Americans Leroy Larson, Art Lee, and Janet Letnes Martin; Swedish American Merrilyn Belgum; and Finnish American Carl “Kip” Peltoniemi. There’s also plenty of room for a variety of neighborhood storytellers and jokesters with roots in the Nordic countries.
Length 60 min
Saga 3 - “Give me enough Swedes, snuff, and whiskey, and I’ll build a railroad to hell!” Great Northern Railway tycoon James J. Hill is said to have boasted admiringly of his immigrant workers. Danes, Finns, Icelanders, Norwegians, and Swedes—all earned reputations for good, hard work while settling into the United States. Saga 3’s interviews, historical photos, and footage of contemporary Scandinavian Americans at work show why the reputation has been rightly earned. Here you’ll hear the sounds, see the sights, and smile at the sly humor of Scandinavian Americans farming, logging, milling, commercial fishing, doing domestic work, and following religious vocations. You can relax: these people are working enough for both of you!
Length: 60 minutes
What people are saying
Loved Saga III!
Many, many thanks for your great presentation last Saturday in Chicago. I thoroughly enjoyed the film.
Ni gör en kulturgärning!
I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful film. Kudos on a job well done. . . . It's pretty much 100% excellent.
Your presentation and the film were very well done.
It's very good! Very interesting, warm, funny, sad--you got it all. Thanks.
Ett varmt tack för den fina filmen.
I just loved that film: it made me feel so happy, though somewhat sad at the same time because I didn't acknowledge my Swedishness until late in my life. From the film, I see how much I have missed out on by not making my heritage a part of my life until recently. I owe you many thanks for producing such a rich film.
What a pleasure to view your production on Sunday. Besides the gorgeous scenery, your sensitivity in interviewing is fantastic.
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it on Sunday! It was really charming. I'm thinking it would be . . . a good intro to Swedish Americana in general.
It was a great film and thank you for investing yourself in the project.
I enjoyed the film festival at Høstfest and visiting with you. . . . Thanks for making the films. They are "our" story, too.