Eva Beling draws on 100 years of Swedish cinema history to take the audience on a journey where the lens is from a queer perspective, revealing portrayals of gay and transgender people to the present day. The cinematic journey begins with Mauritz Stiller, goes through Greta Garbo, Mai Zetterling, Ingmar Bergman and the sexploitation of the 1970s all the way to contemporary cinema.
Eva Beling, that in the past directed two about the actors and actresses of Ingmar Bergman’s filmic universe, now, with Prejudice & Pride — Swedish Film Queer does an investigation about the homosexual representation in the Swedish history of cinema. Following the footsteps of The Celluloide Closet (1995), made from the homonymous book by Vito Russo, an important LGBT rights activist, Beling’s film is not so much a lesson about the history of cinema, but a tuning of a more detailed gaze towards the cinema of a country that, through its queer directors, actors, characters, shows us a sometimes underground and persistent struggle for the sexual and identity freedom. In Prejudice & Pride, the dozens of archival excerpts from films (from 1916’s Mauritz Stiller, Vingarne, the first film to portrait a gay love, until contemporary cinema) renders this work a visual elegance and dynamics, one seldom observes in the gesture of inquiring the archive and the past. (Carlos Natálio)