Between the two shores of the deep blue sea: Crossing the Baltic on the Scandinavian screen | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2042-7891
  • E-ISSN: 2042-7905



The article discusses three feature films produced in Denmark and Sweden in the 1990s: Kajs fødselsdag/The Birthday Trip (Scherfig, 1990), Torsk på Tallinn/Screwed in Tallinn (Alfredson, 1999) and You Can’t Eat Fishing (Windfeld, 1999). All of them, applying various genre conventions, take up the subject of encounters between Scandinavians and ‘East Europeans’ from neighbouring countries. The point of departure for the analysis is the notion of the ‘periphery’, understood as a culturally constructed and relative concept. As the analysis demonstrates, the binary centre/periphery relation is challenged in the films through an active reflection on their own cultures. A recurring motif is the critique of the Scandinavian welfare state and its consequences for the individual, which can be perceived as a particularly Scandinavian feature of the films that highlight neighbouring ex-communist countries.


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