Throughout the course of this term, we as a class have explored the role of the child’s perspective in Scandinavian cinema.  One reoccurring theme has been how the environment where the child grows-up impacts (or shapes) the person these children will become.  In Moodysson’s 2000 film Together follows in suit with the other films we have seen, but pushes the idea further.  Moodysson show how ideas/ideals are imposed onto children via their parents.  The core theme of the film is reinforces in the opposition of isolation versus collection.  The parents throughout the film are trying to raise their children under certain ideals but are actually pushing their children away.  However, the children are able to come together despite the idealistic differences imposed onto them via their parents and truly live in harmony.  I will explore the relationship between Stefan and Tet.

When the boys first meet they are intrigued by one another while remaining standoffish.  Stefan lurks in his new room in the Collective Together, unsure of the new and strange ways of the members of the commune.  Tet enters into Stefan’s space determined to evaluate “the outsider.” The camera on Tet is at a low-angle where as the camera angle on Stefan is a level shot.  The angles infer that Tet is superior to Stefan within the Collective Together space.  Almost immediately Stefan sizes up Tet and accuses him of having girl’s shoes and the camera pans down off of Tet and zooms in on the shoes.  The comment is reminiscent of Stefan’s father Rolf, who has a traditional patriarchal ideology of boy vs. girl, man vs. woman.  The audience is exposed to Moodysson’s theme of parents imposing their ideas/ideals onto their children.  The scene continues with a jump-cut of the shoes to a shot of Tet’s face as the boy’s arguing back-and-forth about whether or not the shoes are girl’s shoes or, as Tet suggests, gym shoes.  The camera follows the argument by cutting back from shots of the shoes, which pans up to Tet’s face recreating the power held by Tet, to the unchanged shot of Stefan. Tet can tell he is losing the argument and for the first time the ideals imposed on him by his parents is challenged. How Tet responds to the situation is the perfect representation of a child mimicking his or her environment: Tet calls Stefan a “Bloody Fascist,” and storms out of the room.  The audience relates Tet’s remark to the opening of the film when the Collective Together celebrates the death of last living fascist dictation from the 1930s, Francisco Franco.

In an ironic twist the Collective Together seems to live by the ideals of Che Guevara and the sentiments “the struggle is now, the future is ours,” which is displayed on a poster in the living room where the characters dance and celebrate.  However, based on the restricting ideals of the commune, the people residing within the house are unable to live freely, as the audience has seen with the introduction of a television and the immediate removal of characters Signe and Sigvard.  It is in the children that Moodysson gives the audience hope.  Despite the rocky introduction, Stefan and Tet are able to put aside the ideals imposed on them by their parents and become friends.  At the end of the film, Stefan and Tet are playing soccer in the back yard and there is a harmony created by the different ideological positions colliding.  The simple act of acceptance brings all of the characters to the child’s game.  The children are able to teach the parents how to live together without judgment.  It is in the final moments of the film that Moodysson shows the audience the togetherness the title of the film implies.  The children understand the meaning of Che, the struggle to accept people without our ideological prejudice is now, the future to change it is ours.

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