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6 classic Astrid Lindgren films every child in Sweden should see

Astrid Lindgren's films
Inger Nilsson at the age of 12 as Pippi Longstocking during a performance at RAI Amsterdam in 1972. Photo: Nationaal Archief (CC BY-SA)

Pippi Longstocking and five other Astrid Lindgren films that are particularly close to my heart.

Nothing makes me feel so much nostalgia like the Astrid Lindgren films and stories I grew up with mainly in the 90s, film adaptations that were already up to 30 years old.

The beautiful surroundings, the closeness to nature, the hard but also joyful and meaningful lives of the people, the common culture, the absence of car fires, terrorist acts and bestial gang rapes, many are the factors that contribute to the nostalgia I feel when I watch the films with my children now in adulthood.

The word nostalgia comes from the Greek nostos (return, return journey) and algos (pain, suffering) and denotes in the modern sense of the term a longing or missing after a past you have positive associations with. The longing for the innocence of childhood.

Maybe it's because Astrid Lindgren's films remind me of the simplicity of childhood, where adventure was around every corner and the whole world was one big playground. No bills to pay, no stress, no worries But I also feel something more. A missing after a time I myself have never experienced.

Here are my 6 favorites among Astrid Lindgren's film adaptations that I think all children in Sweden regardless of origin should see, to get a glimpse of what Sweden once was (albeit portrayed with Astrid Lindgren's imaginative mind), and how Swedish host culture has shaped up over the last century.

Sevedstorp in Vimmerby, Småland, where All of us children in Bullerbyn was recorded.
  1. Pippi Longstocking See Pippi Longstocking on SVT Play
  2. Emil in Lönneberga
  3. Ronja the Assassin
  4. Madicken See Madicken on Open Archive
  5. We at Saltkråkan See We at Saltkråkan on Open Archive (Was it just me who had a crush on Malin?)
  6. All of us children in Bullerbyn

Unfortunately, I found no nostalgic images from the films that could be used as Saltkråkan AB holds on to the copyright, but if I may guess, the names of the films alone will be enough to conjure up familiar images on your retina. Emil, Ida and Alfred, Ronja and Birk, Tjorven, Pelle, Melker and Båtsman, Pippi, Tommy and Annika. Can you see their faces in front of you? Do you remember their voices?

As a child, seeing these films and experiencing the amazing world of Astrid Lindgren is far from a human right. But I wouldn't hesitate to state that it is a Swedish right.

So if you have children and haven't already, do them a favour and sit down with them and watch one Astrid Lindgren film a week.

So that they can get to know the Sweden that once was.

But also what Sweden can become again, if we want to.

I want my children and grandchildren to grow up in Bullerbyn.

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