Church to screen latest installment in 'Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian' seriesWhen Samuel Black was asked to host the Duluth showing of “Saga 4” in the “Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian” film series at the Duluth Congregational Church where he is music director, he replied with a resounding, “YES!”
By: Esther Piszczek, For the Budgeteer News
When Samuel Black was asked to host the Duluth showing of “Saga 4” in the “Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian” film series at the Duluth Congregational Church where he is music director, he replied with a resounding, “YES!”
“So many of the people in the film have spoken and performed at Duluth Congregational Church that it seemed like a natural place to hold the film,” said Black.
The fourth in a series of documentary films exploring the Scandinavian-American experience, “Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian, Saga 4” explores the “everyday elegance” of Scandinavian American arts and craft.
At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, the film’s co-producers, Stefan Quinth and William Beyer, as well as several people highlighted in the film, will be at the Duluth Congregational Church, 3833 E. Superior Street, for a public viewing of Saga 4.
“I will be asking people to contribute to the event, to pay for Quinth, and to share some mileage costs of feature guests from Grand Marais,” said Black.
Beyer, former associate director of the American Swedish Institute
in Minneapolis, and Quinth, an award-winning documentary Swedish filmmaker, met in 2004 and began researching and filming in 2007.
“We began at the American Swedish Institute, but realized we were finding (other Scandinavian) performers at Swedish festivals. It really became a pan-Nordic experience,” said Beyer. “Stefan has really been a treat to work with technically. He sits down with his editing program after he’s done with the shooting and he’s really taught me a lot about filmmaking.”
Beyer, who has a Ph.D. in American Studies from University of Minnesota, brings to the film series a personal understanding of immigration issues and a deep connection to the American-Swedish experience after serving as associate director of the Swedish American Institute for over five years. Married to a Swedish naturalized citizen, he describes himself as “a person shaped by the experience of immigration.”
The film series, described as “a light-hearted exploration of contemporary Scandinavian America,” explores the cultural traditions of all five Nordic regions, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Since 2007, Quinth and Beyer have interviewed 225 people and filmed 15 different groups and 19 cultural events or significant places. The resulting 150-200 hours of raw film footage led to four feature-length documentaries.
Saga 1 explores the immigration experience; Saga 2, Scandinavian-American humor; Saga 3, Scandinavian-Americans’ powerful work ethic; and now in Saga 4, “the tradition and ongoing vitality of the arts and craft of (Scandinavian) immigrants ... and their descendants in the Upper Midwest.”
“We wanted to make certain (the films were) entertaining and authoritative. So, in each film there is at least one scholarly voice and presence that gives a certain authority to the entertainment,” explained Beyer.