In the commissioned film Sylwan, Astrid Lindgren’s famous story about Pippi Longstocking becomes a window to an overlooked side of Swedish history. It is a story about the first documented Afro-Swedish actor Joe Sylwan, and his family of performers and actors, who played a minor part in the first and rarely screened 1949 film adaptation of Pippi. Later, Sylwan’s son, Ramon, played Starke Adolf [Strong Adolf] in the more well- known television version of Pippi from 1969, frequently shown on Swedish Television and exported to many other countries.
Starke Adolf works at the circus and is introduced as the strongest man in the world — any man who dares is invited to challenge him in wrestling. However, for Pippi, who is not a man but the strongest girl ever, he is no match and she easily wrestles him down to the delight of the audience. In the visually seductive Sylwan, an actor playing Joe Sylwan enters the stage of an eighteenth-century theatre and tells the true story of a racist attack on Joe Sylwan, which led to a much-publicized trial in Stockholm in 1932.
Dramatizing documentary material, as well as drawing on his own memory of going to the movies for the first time to see the Pippi film, Hilowle combines striking images with documentary accounts from the Sylwan family.Rent this work for public screenings