The Country Inn (gÄstgivargÅrn)
Sweden, 2001, 55 min.
Swedish documentarian Stefan Jarl is best known for his Mods Trilogy, which follows two members of Sweden’s underclass over two decades, and his nature documentaries (particularly those dealing with Lapps), so on the surface, this portrait of a small inn in the Swedish countryside might seem somewhat like a departure. But it’s actually filled with everything that makes Jarl’s films interesting: attention to detail, careful integration of the landscape, and an enthusiastic interest in elements of Sweden’s regional cultures that might seem anachronistic. So although it is certainly Jarl’s least political work, it’s no less worthy as an accomplishment. If anything, this absence of political content clearly reveals just how diverse his interests are, how open he is to new kinds of material.