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Realism or ‘grotesque clichés’? Jan Halldoff’s The Corridor and the Swedish debate on abortion in the 1960s

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Swedish filmmaker Jan Halldoff’s fiction film Korridoren (The Corridor) premiered in 1968 to a mainly positive Swedish reception. Shot at Karolinska Hospital and criticizing the Swedish healthcare system, the film became much debated and can furthermore be seen as a turning point in Swedish film history regarding the portrayal of medical institutions and professionals. In this article, the film and its reception are analysed in relation to the Swedish debate on abortion at the time. While the film is clearly critical of Swedish welfare society, the way it depicts abortion is more conservative. Highlighting this as well as the role of actual medical professionals in the film, the article demonstrates how the film relates to representations of abortion in the past and discusses connections between the film industry and medicine at this historical moment.
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Keywords: Jan Halldoff; Swedish cinema of the 1960s; The Corridor; abortion; cinema and medicine; foetal research

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • The Journal of Scandinavian Cinema is a new scholarly journal devoted to film in the Scandinavian countries. It aims to become the prime site for excellent research and engaging discussions on cinema in Scandinavia, both within the national context of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and as a region existing in a globalized world.
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