NOW STREAMING: "Ang.: Lone" (1970). Finally got to see the rarely shown work of social realism, "Ang.: Lone" (Re.: Lone), Franz Ernst's groundbreaking youth film from 1970. This film, in 35mm widescreen and stark, high contrast bw, expertly shot by Peter Roos, with sensitive editing by Lennart Fisker, was the first in a long line of successful "new wave" youth movies from Denmark. It won Best Picture that year in Denmark, and also was in competition at Berlin, where it won Special Recognition. The actors are amateurs and the dialogue is 100% improvised, capturing the flavor of the day, with an abundance of "ikk'?" ("innit?") tags and other such colloquialisms. It gets on one's nerves a bit, but it came natural to the youth at the time, hippies and rebellious young kids who wanted to break with the old norms. It takes the age-old theme of a young girl who goes to the big city and gets in trouble, takes it to new levels. "Sweet Little Sixteen" it ain't, this 16 year old runaway from a girls' home in Jutland is already jaded and broken from an upbringing in various institutions. She sees no recourse but to run away, hitch hike, lie, and steal her way to acceptance and some notion of belonging in the big city of Copenhagen, where she happened to have been born. Thus her trajectory is cyclical, from birth in Copenhagen to adult responsibilities and an uncertain future in the same city, Her personal reality check is underscored by her unwanted pregnancy. She had been knocked up by some young bozo bartender, all irresponsible and underpaid, whom she had met in her roaming about town, and now she feels let down. One of the final scenes of the film is an illegal abortion being performed in close-up, a most unsettling sight. This was only possible to show because pornography had been legalized in Denmark three years earlier. It is not an exploitation scene, but one that serves to show how serious an issue abortion is, and the devastating consequences it can have for a desperate young mother to be.
..and why not?
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