The Melancholy of Swedish Winter Rolls Into GUSTAV JOHANSSON’s Film “Vintersaga” for VOLVO

January 28th, 2015

Iconoclast director Gustav Johansson unveils the next chapter of Volvo’s “Made By Sweden” campaign with a sweeping short film paying tribute to Sweden’s harshest conditions. Created by Forsman & Bodenfors and produced by New Land, the 4-minute piece “Vintersaga” takes us into the depths of a Swedish January – the harshest month when the sun hardly rises above the horizon.

It is also the period that defines Swedes the most. While people from all over the world flock to Sweden during the summer periods, only the residents choose to stay there when the great melancholy rolls in. With the darkness and cold comes a special creativity that affects everything from the music the Swedes create to the cars that they build.

Johansson sought to capture visually the feeling of vemod – one of the most Swedish words, which does not have a clear or direct translation in English. Vemod is a complex emotion and a cultural phenomenon, comprising a tender sadness or melancholy mixed with a feeling of longing.  Vemod is not an outward feeling, but more of a slow fretting inside of somebody.  It is something that is sad, yet beautiful.

The film sees the bleak Swedish January transformed into a breathtaking vision through the lens of the Swedish people.  Set to a haunting reworking of the Swedish classic “Vintersaga,” by  singer/songwriter Amanda Bergman, Gustav’s arresting film translates a sense of both the forlorn and uplifting quality of vemod, while paying tribute to the Swedish heritage that is built into every Volvo.