In Sweden, there is a week in the year where all of the country’s politicians gather in the small town of Visby to promote their parties. This annual tradition, called Almedal Week, has become huge in Sweden, with politicians going there to promote their agenda, rub shoulders with other big names, make deals and appear on various morning shows. However, Almedal Week is also seen as a mingle party for the elite that leads to corruption and strengthens the lobbyists power. Director Cecilia Björck said at a Q&A session for the documentary that she has been fascinated with the event for years, and filming did take place over a few years. She follows politicians like the culture minister Alice Bah Kunke as she heads to the lunch buffet, she observes the Christian Democratic party leader Ebba Busch Thor’s selfie rituals and paints this obscure portrait of Sweden’s big names.
The concept of a week where all the politicians gather to promote themselves is strange, and I went into this documentary with very little understand of Swedish politics. Because of this, I felt confused throughout, not recognising any names or understanding what each party was about. A Good Week for Democracy is sure to interest Swedes and provide them with a new way to view their politicians, but for outsiders this documentary may just be confusing.
This review is in the March issue of Cinema Scandinavia.
- Directed by Cecilia Björk