This was the official website for the 2000 Swedish comedy-drama film, Together, directed by Lukas Moodysson.
Content is from the site's 2000 archived pages as well as from other sources.
TOMATOMETER CRITICS 90% | AUDIENCE 89%
In mid-1970s, fleeing life with her abusive husband Rolf, Elisabeth moves into her brother Goran's commune, with her two children Stefan and Eva. A big house in suburban Stockholm, the commune is called "Together" and inhabited by a crowded assortment of people. Initially resistant to Elisabeth's entry, the commune soon accepts her and her children as part of their family. Soon Elisabeth is acclimating to her new surroundings and the commune's liberal attitudes towards sex, drugs and politics. But just as she's becoming settled, her husband shows up looking to get the family back together.
Rating: R (for nudity/sexuality and language)
Genre: Art House & International, Comedy, Drama
Directed By: Lukas Moodysson
Written By: Lukas Moodysson
In Theaters: Aug 24, 2001 Limited
On Disc/Streaming: Jan 1, 1998
Runtime: 106 minutes
Studio: IFC Films
Lukas Moodysson looking back on Together (2000)
Director: Lukas Moodysson
Screenwriter: Lukas Moodysson
Cast: Lisa Lindgren, Michael Nyqvist, Gustav Hammarsten, Anja Lundkvist, Jessica Liedberg, Ola Norell, Shanti Roney, Sam Kessel, Emma Samuelsson, Lars Frode, Cecilia Frode, Henrik Lundström, Thérèse Brunnander, Claes Hartelius, Olle Sarri, Axel Zuber, Sten Ljunggren, Emil Moodysson
Together (2000) www.allmovie.com/
Synopsis by Rebecca Flint Marx
The second feature from Lukas Moodysson, who directed the internationally acclaimed Fucking Åmal, Tillsammans is the tale of life on a Stockholm commune in the mid-'70s. After suffering more than her share of abuse from her husband, Rolf (Michael Nyqvist), Elisabeth (Lisa Lindgren) takes her two children, Stefan (Sam Kessel) and Eva (Emma Samuelsson), to a commune run by her brother Göran (Gustav Hammarsten). Life at the commune is crowded with people with laid-back attitudes towards sex, nudity, and recreational drug use, prompting plenty of political debate. Göran's partner, Lena (Anja Lundkvist), is a particular proponent of free-spirited bed-hopping, something Göran doesn't really like but tolerates. Lena duly gets involved with the rebellious Erik (Olle Sarri) and finds fulfillment in the form of her first orgasm, something that leads her to confess to Göran that she was always faking it with him. Meanwhile, various dramas are at work amongst the other commune members, including the once-married Lasse (Ola Norell) and Anna (Jessica Liedberg) (who split up when Anna announced she was a lesbian) and Klas (Shanti Roney), whose advances to Lasse are continually rebuffed. The goings-on of the commune are observed and commented on by a pair of neighbors, Margit (Therese Brunnander) and Ragner (Claes Hartelius), whose marriage is so lackluster that Ragner masturbates compulsively. Their son, the fat and miserable Fredrik (Henrik Lundström), befriends Elisabeth's daughter, Eva, who longs to have a family again. When Rolf appears on the scene seeking reconciliation, it seems Eva may get her wish.
Review by Josh Ralske
Lukas Moodysson's Together opens in 1975, with a radio announcement that Generalissimo Francisco Franco is dead. At the Tillsammans (Together) commune, an impromptu celebration erupts, which includes two small children jumping up and down excitedly, shouting, "Franco is dead! Franco is dead!" Thus, Moodysson cunningly opens his film by showing us the infectious energy and idealism of the commune members, and gently mocking them for their knee-jerk response. Moodysson, director of the similarly complex, funny, and thoughtful Fucking Åmål (released in the U.S. as Show Me Love), maintains this affectionately mocking tone throughout the film. Though the subject matter and behavior depicted is often crude, Together is a subtle film full of small gestures that convey a range of powerful emotions, and half-spoken thoughts that reverberate into decisive action. Much of what the characters say and do is worthy of ridicule, but Moodysson's film is richly observant and he never loses sight of their essential humanity. The one puzzling role is that of Joss (Nish Aaroom), who is escaping a horrible life in New York City. Although constantly bragging about his former business "expert carpet cleaning in NYC," it becomes clear that career was one he hated and as a result he rages at every mention of it. I did enjoy that one instance where his rage turns into a philosophical rant about the notion of "nothing." It wasn't quite Rev Sale, but it was very close - and funny. Not sure how dealing with filthy rugs justifies the anger he exhibits. And while it seems overblown, his character does set up others to be more empathetically received. Rolf, the estranged husband, well played by Michael Nyqvist, is a prime example. First seen as Elisabeth (Lisa Lindgren) angrily leaves him to join Tillsammans, he seems to be little more than an abusive drunken clod. As his efforts to get Elisabeth back and maintain his relationship with his two children continually backfire, he sinks into an even more pathetic state. But in the end, his utter desolation and his unremitting determination to make amends and regain his family's love endear him to the audience. He's still a mess, but his basic humanity can be appreciated. Moodysson perfectly and truthfully captures the milieu of this commune in 1975, but his greatest strength as a filmmaker is that, like the legendary Jean Renoir, he recognizes that "everyone has his motives."
FILM IN REVIEW; 'Together'
By DAVE KEHRAUG. 24, 2001 NY Times
Directed by Lukas Moodysson
In Swedish, with English subtitles
R, 106 minutes
The 1970's are the subject of much scrutiny in today's movies and television culture, perhaps because the requisite 30 years that define a new generation have passed. Just as films about the 1920's flourished in the late 40's and early 50's, so have the 70's entered popular consciousness as a period of now-lost innocence, scented by incense, patchouli oil and the occasional aroma of an illegal drug.
Lukas Moodysson's lively and provocative Swedish film ''Together'' takes a more gimlet-eyed view of the period. Set in 1975, the action takes place almost entirely within the rambling and ramshackle suburban house that is home to an idealistic commune named Tillsammans, which means together in Swedish.
Mr. Moodysson begins his film as if it were to be a study in disillusionment and dispersal. The ''Together'' commune is not all that its name implies: one couple in the group, Lasse (Ola Norell) and Anna (Jessica Liedberg), have just been through a painful divorce, occasioned by Anna's politically motivated decision to become a lesbian. But they continue to live in the house for the sake of their 8-year-old son, Tet (Axel Zuber), named for the well-known Vietnam War offensive.
Goran (Gustaf Hammarsten) is a gentle, idealistic soul who becomes the movie's emotional focus; he is having trouble with the free-love philosophy espoused by his impulsive girlfriend, Lena (Anja Lundqvist), especially when Lena insists on making noisy love in the next room to the surly socialist Erik (Olle Sarri). Looking on from the sidelines is Klas (Shanti Roney), a lonely gay man who hopes that his crush on Lasse will someday pay off.
This fragile network of relationships is shattered by the arrival of Elisabeth (Lisa Lindgren), Goran's conventional, middle-class sister, who is running away from her abusive alcoholic husband, Rolf (Michael Nyqvist), with her two young children, Stefan (Sam Kessel) and Eva (Emma Samuelsson), reluctantly in tow. With three new people in the house, the affective arrangements come up for radical reconsideration. Anna, the aspiring lesbian, begins pursuing Elisabeth; Goran begins to wonder just what binds him to the aggressively unfaithful Lena; and little Eva finds a soul mate next door, in the tubby person of 14-year-old Fredrik (Henrik Lundstrom).
But just as the title of ''Together'' is beginning to seem bluntly ironic, Mr. Moodysson's script takes some delightfully unexpected turns, and the characters begin to reunite in new combinations and with a new, perhaps more realistic understanding of the forces that bind them together. From the rigidly, tidily political, their bonds evolve into the frayed but more flexible ties of genuine human emotion.
Mr. Moodysson gained some deserved attention three years ago for ''Show Me Love,'' a film better known on the festival circuit under its original Swedish title, which contains an unprintable English expletive. The story of two teenage girls who fall in love, defying all the conventions of the small town in which they live, it also had an appealingly warm, sloppy tone but built to a pat, feel-good finale. With ''Together,'' Mr. Moodysson has moved beyond such compromises; his film never feels less than completely natural as it moves toward the reconfigurations that provide its sunny climax. Here is one of the most pleasant foreign films of the year, a funny, graceful and immensely good-natured work.
"Together" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has sexual situations, nudity and strong language.
4.0 out of 5
by Ed Gonzalez SLANT
August 21, 2001
In the utopian Walden Two, B. F. Skinner claims that humanity is incapable of being reduced to a singular mindset. Walden Two founder T.E. Frazier is more than aware of the individual’s need for assurance and their intrinsic need to flock to those than can provide necessities of life. Whether Frazier was a closet-capitalist is beside the point—his support of the Orwellian Managers becomes an affront to individualism. For him, success lies in numbers and the triumph of one man over another is never to be lauded. Together, Lukas Moodysson’s timeless piece of hippie lore, isn’t so much an argument in favor of bourgeois order (the film’s anti-communers are slaves—one to the bottle, another to masturbation) as it is an incredible exploration of societal fear of chaos. Moodysson is hopeful, tracing that uncharted gray area between capitalism and Marxism. Though he seemingly defends communism he nonetheless pokes fun at its inability to acknowledge man’s egotistical trappings.
Anna’s foe-lesbianism can be seen as an anti-bourgeois response; she hopes that “free love” will liberate her. Lasse, her ex-husband, is wary of her actions, though he too submits to homo-love by way of the dopey Klas and rocks Anna’s thinly-constructed worldview. More successful, though, is Moodysson’s evocation of Goran’s inner angst. Goran allows his girlfriend Lena to have sex with his pal Eric. Though not exactly stripped of his free will, he supports the idea that free-floating affection is crucial to the success of group order. When Lena achieves her first-ever orgasm from Eric (Goran is painfully forced to hear it), Moodysson suggests that free love can liberate as much as it can destroy. Moodysson humorously details the communer’s affinity for the outré (posters of Che, Mao and the Berlin Olympics decorate the house) and their need to blow hot air (the fictional kid’s character Pippi Longstocking is viewed as a materialist pig). “Washing up is bourgeois,” says Anna as she stands naked in the kitchen, interrupting household chores. Lasse reacts, pulling down his own pants to the horror of Goran’s sister and her two children.
Skinner’s Walden Two community stripped children of their humanity and indoctrinated them into group thinking via aquariums. This is where the failure of the community is inscribed. Both Skinner’s Walden Two and Moodysson’s commune fail to account for the unpredictable and the role of their pre-political children. Stefan and Eva find it difficult to adjust to the ideals of the house: TV is forbidden, gifts are frowned upon and vegetarianism is extolled. Stefan is called a fascist after mistaking a boy’s gym slippers for “girl shoes” while Eva spends lonely nights in the house’s Volkswagen van hoping to escape the adults whose politics she calls “stupid.” Tet (Axel Zuber)—named by his parents after the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive—is in awe of Stefan’s Legos (he never had such a luxury and, because his father was a naturalist, his two Lego pieces were carved out of wood). Just as Stefan seemingly begins to adjust to life inside the commune, the children revolt: he and Tet begin to play war games (playing the role of Pinochet and victim) and ultimately stage a We Want Meat campaign. A television set is bought into the house, hot dogs are eaten and, as a result, the walls of the commune begin to crumble.
Walden Two’s narrator specifically blames the failure of Frazier’s Walden Two on the commune’s refusal to change the world “outside.” Much of the action in Together takes place indoors. Though the pawns in Moodysson’s experiment celebrate the death of Spain’s Franco, their disconnection from the exterior world is strangely passive. Moodysson criticizes those too far to the left and suggests that the success of group homogenization (and communism itself) will be compromised as soon as personal interests take over. Walden Two is as classic a behavioral primer as it is a fantastical farce on the sacrifice of personal freedom. Together similarly admonishes its creatures of discomfort for their fear of the outside world and their disrespect for individual choice and preference (sexual, cultural, political). The film doesn’t seek to destroy its group as much as it suggests that hippies and their bourgeois “enemies” should meet somewhere in the middle. Moodysson may not know where the middle lies but the film’s liberating, snowy finale is at least hopeful and ripe with possibilities.
**** 1/2 Spencer S.
Surprisingly this film is more feel-good and heartwarming than anything, and yet also gives commentary on socialism, free living, and polyamory as well. The film covers family, love, and forgiveness, as well as opening yourself to new experiences so you can find new love. The film is actually set in a commune called Together (Tillsammans), where Goran lives with a bunch of other people and a woman he loves. His sister, Elisabeth, has a domestic disturbance with her husband for the first time in years, and immediately leaves, taking her children with her to live with her brother. The three fish out of water find themselves shoved into a small space and their lives are completely changed as the commune's inhabitants rub off on them and vice versa. While there are some political themes that run throughout the story and oftentimes speak volumes on the residents, it does not overpower the narrative or center around the characters. More often these political leanings only lead to absurd scenarios, including an intellectual who more oftentimes wants to argue rather than converse, a hippie dippy woman who stomps on hearts as well as promotes multiple partners, and several others who believe in the extremes of clean living and the liberal agenda. Most of the film relies on absurd personalities over political beliefs to find humor. We also look back to the father who was left, as he finds guidance from an outside source and tries to change in order to get back his family. Every bit of this film is feel-good, whether it is the man who gets rid of his toxic lover or the coming of age story of a young teenager finding love with the next door neighbor, every bit of this makes you feel happy and sweet. The ending is even happy, and though it pulls on heartstrings throughout, it never drags, never degrades its subjects, and doesn't become clichéd or schmaltzy.
**** Jesse Ortega
This is definitely a movie that sort of sneaks up on you because the characters slowly start to grow on you and the movie is well paced as it keeps getting better as it goes along and it ends at the right moment. The movie doesn't have a real story per se, just a collection of little subplots between the characters. Despite this, the movie never has any consistency or pacing issues. All the stories the movie tells are interesting and entertaining. I can't really complain about the movie, because, again, it may not start out like much but the movie really does grow on you with its charms and its satirical aspects. Just a great movie.
**** Randy Tippy
Communal living, free-love and hippies from a uniquely Swedish perspective. Wonderfully nostalgic and, for director Moodysson, surprisingly sentimental.