Friday, March 15, 2013

Patrik 1.5-Sweden, 2008 Movie Viewing

Hello, can you hardly wait for Spring Break? Hopefully you don't get yourselves into a wet t-shirt contest or anything. Today, my lips are pink. What color are yours? 

I went to an event at the Foreign Language Building on campus. It was Scandinavian night, and there was literally NOBODY there but myself and two other people. The plus side, they made us these cute Scandinavian sandwiches to snack on. 

As you can see, it was a small classroom with a small television. I'm guessing not a lot of people showed because many are already home for Spring Break. The crowd looked sad. Anyway, I chose this event because the movie sounded really interesting to me because it was about a gay couple who was trying to get a baby. I didn't know if it was a documentary or a fiction, but I was still interested nonetheless. 

It turns out it was a fictitious film, but it turned out really good! The only thing I didn't like about it was the small subtitles on the little television screen. My eyelashes were getting in the way of my reading. 

Movies with subtitles annoy me. Anyway, the film starts off by introducing the main characters, Sven and Goran. They are the gay couple wanting to adopt a baby. In preparation to do so, they begin to create a nursery together for their child in their new home. They leave the city life, which they both love, and relocate to a smaller, quiet village in the country. During the move, the local community isn't exactly the most welcoming to the gay couple. Some treat them with blatant hostility, while the rest of the villagers are content to simply shun them and pretend they aren't there. The couple was having a hard time with the move, and to add on to the stress, the adoption agency told them that an international baby was out of the question because no country thought that gay parents were fit parents. Another dream crushed for the two, but they nonetheless decide to adopt a local baby. They go through all of the paperwork with the agency, and agree to adopt Patrik, age 1.5. However, when the child arrives to the picket fence home, it quickly becomes apparent that someone misplaced the decimal point on the age of the adoption papers. Patrik is a 15 year old boy. If that wasn't enough to set them over the edge, the boy is extremely homophobic and not happy about being adopted by gay men. The child also has a criminal record. Assuming it's a mix-up, the couple returns to the office, but they have to wait until Tuesday to contact Social Services. Over the weekend, the house is very tense. The child accuses the gay men of wanting to molest him due to stereotypes he's heard, and Sven thinks the little boy will stab him in his sleep. Goran, in contrary, is more into the adoption than Sven is, and decides to befriend Patrik until Sven can find him a more suitable home. Goran and Patrik share a lot of personal feelings with eachother, and bond through gardening. Sven, still afraid of Patrik and his hostility, keeps a distance, which also creates a cold distance in his relationship with his husband. Patrik opens up old wounds for Sven, making him question his ideals of marraige, and revealing his long-buried feelings about his abandoned daughter from a previous heterosexual marraige, who is going through a goth phase of adolescene. Sven also has a past with violence and substance abuse, which is beginning to resurface due to his stress level. In the end, Sven chooses to leave Goran after he refuses to kick the boy out on the street. Now, Goran and Patrik are living together alone, and Goran grows to except the boy even though he still accuses him of being a sterotypical gay pedophile. Goran decides to take care of him until the agency finds a better suited home. Days later, the agency finally notifies Goran that they have found a family. Sven arrives back at the house before Patrik leaves and realizes that the child wasn't worth ending their marraige over. Patrik's new father picks him up shortly after Sven arrives and takes him. A few weeks later, Patrik arrives at the door of the gay couple and asks them to be his parents again. The three live together happily in the end.

This movie was extremely interesting to me. Aside from the subtitles, I'm really glad I came to this event. Goran and Sven have their troubles, but their troubles are not that different from those of a heterosexual couple if they were going through the same situation. I also related to the parts of the film where the couple felt shunned outsiders of their new community. I feel that way quite often in this shitpot of a world. Most importantly, I found Sven inspiring. He does get a bad wrap because he left his husband, but he delivers a message about the strength of love and the power individuals have to change.

I'll see you next week my loves!


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