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201 Ratings

The Emigrants


Directed by Jan Troell
Sweden, 1971


In Jan Troell’s monumental mid-nineteenth-century epic, movie legends Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann give remarkably authentic performances as Karl Oskar and Kristina, a couple who meet with one physical and emotional trial after another as they attempt to emigrate to America.

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The Emigrants Directed by Jan Troell

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1972 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

1973 | 4 nominations including: Best Picture

National Board of Review

1972 | Winner: Top Foreign Films

Golden Globes (USA)

1973 | 2 wins including: Best Foreign-Language Foreign Film

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1973 | Winner: Best Actress

1973 | 2 runner-up prizes including: Best Film

In its last hour, The Emigrants becomes airier, more lyrical. Some burdens, for these people, are beginning to lift, and the film lets them enjoy it for a while, before their new lives reveal new rigors. They look, as if for the first time, at the world around them; Troell gives them cool green forests, serene rivers, glittering lakes, and birds in flight.
February 09, 2016
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We’re the best of friends." That’s the endearment that a married couple, played by Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, whisper to one another in Jan Troell’s The Emigrant. For anyone familiar with von Sydow and Ullmann’s collaborations in the filmography of Ingmar Bergman, it’s a deeply moving moment as much for its narrative context as for its metatextual implications.
February 09, 2016
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Nearly half of The Emigrant’s three-plus hours is devoted to explaining why the Nilssons decide to move from Sweden to North America, which feels like overkill; there are only so many compelling variations on “the soil here isn’t great” and “religious intolerance is a drag,” and they don’t collectively add up to an entire normal-sized movie of 90 minutes or so.
February 06, 2016
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