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131 Ratings

The New Land


Directed by Jan Troell
Sweden, 1972


In a continuation of The Emigrants, Jan Troell follows a Swedish farming family’s efforts to put down roots in a beautiful but forbidding new world. With precise, minute detail, Troell charts their journey, which is also that of countless other people who sought better lives across the Atlantic.

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The New Land Directed by Jan Troell

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1973 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

National Board of Review

1973 | 2 wins including: Best Actress

Golden Globes (USA)

1973 | Winner: Best Foreign-Language Foreign Film

Subtly, Troell allows us to see that marriage itself is a kind of emigration: a matter of settling into another life, making the necessary accommodations, and gradually—over years, over decades—finding that you think of this person who is not you, or this place that is not the land of your birth, as your home. This idea is particularly important in The New Land, in which terrible things happen to several of the Swedish pilgrims; America gives and it takes away, no blessing unmixed.
February 09, 2016
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Where the first film triumphed in its specificity, the second strains to link the story of one small group of Swedes to larger historical truths of immigration; it’s difficult to otherwise justify a wearisome demonstration of Robert’s failed effort to join the California gold rush. Even as this saga’s reach periodically exceeds its grasp, though, one struggles to recall a more immersive dramatization of this particular historical experience.
February 09, 2016
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It features some of Troell’s most powerful pure filmmaking, as he cuts back and forth between Robert succumbing to yellow fever in Sweden and flashbacks of his efforts to reach California with his best friend, Arvid, so they could join the Gold Rush. Much of this material, which echoes the grim desert scenes from Erich Von Stroheim’s Greed, is dialogue-free, accompanied by an anxious percussive score; it functions as a magnificent mini-film of its own—an “episode,” if you will.
February 06, 2016
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