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The New Man - Klaus Härö - Sweden

The New Man

The New Man

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Interview - Tobias Aspelin

The New Man (Den nya människan, 2007)

Director: Klaus Härö
Lo Kauppi, Julia Högberg, Christoffer Svensson, Tobias Aspelin


The 50s were days in turmoil. Changes after the World War II were coming along and there was a Europe in constant evolution but little it is known about the inner society inside the countries. Eurochannel invites you to travel back in time to the Sweden of the 50s and find out the darkest secrets hidden in the pages of history.

Winner in festivals across the world, The New Man is a film about a dark episode in Swedish history that is seldom talked about: a very harsh society to women with sparks of machismo. The film’s character Gertrud is inspired by scriptwriter Kjell Sundstedt’s grandmother and sisters tragic life destiny. After an exhaustive research, both writers and director managed to retrieve letters and pictures to build this shocking but engaging story of the film.

The New Man has been awarded with the Jury Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Film Festival 2007 as well as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress at the Swedish National Film Award the same year. The film was also nominated for important awards at the Edinburgh International and the Montreal World Film Festivals in 2007.


Sweden 1951. A new society is developing, a society where there is no room for the socially and mentally weak. Gertrud (Julia Högberg) is a 17 year old girl from a very poor family. Against her will, she is committed to a work home for young women. Gertrud learns that the only way out is by agreeing to a ‘voluntary’ sterilization.

Gertrud falls in love with the janitor, Axel (Christoffer Svensson) and soon finds herself pregnant. She dreams about a normal family life with Axel and the child, and doesn’t realize that when performing the operation the doctor will most certainly take the child away. She changes her mind about the operation but she no longer has a choice. Will Gertrud fool the system?

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