Snapphanar (Scanian Guerilla ) (2006)

 

 

 

Director:     Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein.

Starring:     André Sjöberg (Nils Geting),  Tuva Novotny (Hedvig Sparre),  Anders Ekborg (Gabriel Lejonhufvud),  Malin Morgan (Svart-Stina),  Gustaf Skarsgård (Karl XI),  Peter Andersson (Överste Dahlbergh),  Kim Bodnia (Mogens Laumann),  Jörgen Persson (Räddstor),  Samuel Hellström (Joshua Swartz),  Adam Lundgren (David Swartz),  Dag Malmberg (Anders Sparre),  Harald Leander (Olof Geting),  Jonas Karlström (Jakob Geting),  Niklas Engdahl (Mannen med ärret),  Jonas Sjöqvist (Rosencrantz),  Björn Bengtsson (Roosman).

TV mini-series, in Swedish with English subtitles

Scanian War, 1676-1679, between Sweden and Denmark

 

Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire film.

1678. "For three years, Denmark and Sweden have fought for control of Skåne." [Wiki says: Skåne County is the southernmost administrative county of Sweden, basically corresponding to the traditional province Scania. The seat of residence for the Skåne Governor is the town of Malmö, while the headquarters of Region Skåne is the town of Kristianstad.]

"Caught in between are the Scanian peasants, who have suffered for decades under Swedish rule. Many have left their farms to fight to free Skåne. Some have formed their own bands, and some have joined the Danish army. To aid these resistance fighters is extremely dangerous since the Swedish king has authorized summary executions. These resistance fighters are called 'snapphanes' "

Tolle church. A Lutheran minister lays on the floor of the church. He has a nasty gash in his skull that should require quite a number of stitches. The minister gets himself up, though he's a little wobbly. He runs to the church bell rope and pulls on it over and over to alert the locals.

People from around the farms return to their farm houses. A father tells his son Jakob to take the girls inside the farm house. He now shouts out: "Where's Nils?" He sends the son to find his brother Nils.

Nils is reading from the Bible up in the hay loft. His brother finds him and yells at him: "Nils! Don't you hear the bells? It might be Swedes. Come on!"

The men rush to the church. There the minister says that "they" have taken everything, including the silver and Jesus Christ from the cross. The culprits were a woman and a man, a couple of bandits. Father of Nils asks what are they all waiting around for? Let's get moving. He says he will take the boy children into the woods. The men ride horses or run to their destinations.

Also running is a young woman and an elderly man named Bigscared. Father and his sons see the pair running over a hill. They stop, gets off their horses and pursue the bandits on foot . The old man drops his bag with the silver in it. The bandits start picking up the silver, but by that time father stands over them. And soon the two sons arrive.

The woman tells father: "We need the silver more than you." She also says that father knows that she and her partner are not bandits. He tells her to drop the silver and lay her weapons down. She pulls out her sword and goes after the unarmed father. After awhile father is able to knock the woman down. She then grabs her pistol and fires, but father lowers himself to being supported by all four of his arms and legs to avoid being hit. The woman grabs the sword again, the father takes it away from her and knocks her down. Now the old man starts to raise his rifle, but is stopped by father with the threat of being run through with the woman's sword. Bigscared drops it and sits down.

Dad tells his two sons to tie the two people with rope. The boys are sympathetic to the man and woman saying they are snapphanar. Jakob says to his father: "I didn't know you were a Swede." Dad fires back with: "And I didn't know that you're a Dane."

Jakob refuses to tie the two up, but dad gets Nils to tie them. The snapphanes have to walk behind the horses. Jakob tells Nils to release the ropes and he does so. Also left behind is a small bag. Father rides ahead, so he knows nothing of the escape.

Dad only learns of the escape when he comes back to the church. He looks back and doesn't see his two prisoners. Nils hangs his head low. Dad says nothing about the two bandits. Instead, he just presents the minister with the stolen Jesus and a big bag of silver products. The minister tells Olof Geting, dad, that he is a good man and God will bless him and his whole family.

At the home dining table, dad asks Nils what if the others find out that they let the bandits go? Nils believes they won't find out. Dad says war is coming and his two sons don't seem to understand a thing.

Dad sends the females outside so he can talk to his sons. He tells them that he actually came from Stockholm. Twenty years ago he was a Swedish soldier. In fact, he was considered the best swordsman in his unit.

King Charles XI Gustavus wanted to surprise the Danes and dad knew what to do. He got his superior, Quartermaster Dahlbergh, and showed him that the lake was frozen and the Swedes could cross over and surprise the Danes. The Danes were taken by surprise and it was a decisive victory for the Swedes.

As a reward to Olof, the Swedes gave him a farm in Skåne. His superior tells him never to take credit for the victory, but lay low. The Quartermaster will take the credit and the blame. On that day Olof vowed: "No blood shall flow across the hands of a Geting."

In a field Nils sits down under a tree to sometimes look upon the goats the family has. A man with a rifle surprises Nils. The fellow wants to know where is the company of snapphanes in this area? The fellow says they need food, water and a place to rest. There are several men with him.

So Nils puts the men up into the hayloft. Their ad hoc leaders asks Nils to join them and fight for a free Skåne. Now Jakob makes his appearance and gets a shock at what he sees. The leader says that they killed four Swedish soldiers, but they lost half of their unit in doing so. Nils says they can stay one night, but Jakob says they can stay as long as they need to.

At night Jakob says that someone must have seen Nils with the soldiers because the people in the village have gathered in the church. Dad overhears this and wants to know how does this involve their family?  Dad and sons walk over to the barn and climb up into the hayloft. The leaders says they are on their way to the snapphanes, but they must rest before they can do that.

Nils gets on his horse. He is going to find the snapphanes before the villagers come to their farm looking for the wounded men. Dad says to send the snapphanes to the farm, but don't be seen with the snapphanes. He wants Nils to go to Stockholm. Nils says no, but dad says Jakob is going to fight but Nils will become a priest. He now gives Nils some money and tells him to find Dahlbergh when her arrives at the capital. Nils cries and embraces his father.

Nils is riding fast. He only stops when he sees a group of men around a campfire. He has no idea which side these men are on. He just assumes they are snapphanes and tells them his entire message. A man steps out of the dark, raises his pistol and shoots Nils down.

In the morning, Nils awakens. He pulls out his Bible from under his shirt and sees that the bullet was stopped by that very same Bible. His horse is gone so he starts running back. He sees a carriage and the men who shot him. Someone in the carriage hands a small bag of money over to the man, as he says that Sweden thanks them.

When Nils arrives home all the farm buildings have been destroyed by fire. He pulls his brother's body from out of the well. Then he sees the others of his family down at the bottom of the well.

Three months later. The war continues. The Swedes have been the victor so far and this causes a lot of snapphanes to join the Danish army.

A unit of the Danish army comes along and sees a strange fellow reading underneath a tree. The commander goes over to him and has to nudge him with his rifle to get Nils to even notice him. When Nils sees the commander he is like a wild beast attacking its prey. For this, at the Danish encampment Nils is stripped to his pants and now has to stand up with arms outstretched and tied to ropes that are tied to rafters. A soldier introduces himself as Mogens Lauman. He informs Nils that he is to be executed. He also tells Nils that he will be first lashed until he's no longer breathing.

After several lashes Nils hears a voice saying to stop that. He looks over his right shoulder and sees the woman he let go after she robbed the local church. She talks with the Danish commander.

The woman, accompanied by her robbery partner, come to his tent. They ask him why is he here? Nils explains what happened to his family. The woman says that snapphanes do not kill the innocent. She goes on to say that the culprits were probably Swedish soldiers, disguised as snapphanes. This way the local peasants will be loyal to Sweden and hold grudges against Denmark.

The woman's name is Black Stina. They say she's all black, but Bigscared says that she is not. The commander comes over and tells Nils that he is now a snapphane. He also tells Black Stina that she is responsible for the young lad now.

Black Stina asks Nils if he can kill a man? Nils says that when the time comes he will do it. She says: "When we leave this camp, you might as well leave God behind. With the number of bodies we leave behind, we're riding straight to hell. No Bible can save you from that."

The commander tells the snapphanes that they will all be heading west. The Swedes are over at Sandby. But the snapphanes are not going west with the troops. They are going to find and assassinate the important Swede Gabriel Lejonhufvud. He is the man closest to King Charles XI. He is the one who really controls Sweden because he makes all the political and military decisions.

Lejonhufvud is traveling to Scanian villages to force the people to sign an oath of allegiance. Those who will not sign are executed. The commander also wants the snapphane to grab the Swedish war-chest which Lejonhufvud always take with him.  Roosman and his men will be waiting for them. The Swedes fear Roosman and his men. It they get the war-chest, the snapphanes will pay the Scanian peasants to fight against the Swedes. If any of the snapphanes make it out alive they are to come to Sandby Castle. Black Stina will be in charge of the group until Roosman takes over from her.

The five snapphanes head out along the coast. Then they head through the forest. Their leader has a funny feeling because usually Roosman always has sentries out. They get off their horses and start walking. They find a dead sentry tied up to a tree with a sword run through his heart. Then they find the camp with everyone dead.  They build a funeral pyre over the men and light it. After that is done, they head out to find Lejonhufvud. They find where their target is.

A priest walks toward the village. Next thing we know, Nils is dressed as the priest and heading for the enemy. As he nears the Swedes, a man runs from the village, but is shot down by a bullet in his back. Lejonhufvud welcomes the apprentice priest to Knaarp.

Lejonhufvud wants the priest to give the last rights to five village men. Nils says he can't because who knows if these men are really guilty. Well, who would know who is guilty and who is innocent? God, says the priest.

A woman with the Swedes says to let the priest fight for the lives of the condemned men. Lejonhufvud picks out a huge man from the village and the fight begins. Nils gets in some hits, but basically he's losing. Now Lejonhufvud shoots the big man in the heart and the fight is over. Lejonhufvud tells Nils that he will dine with them.

The woman who was trying to get Nils killed is Hedvig Sparre, Lejonhufvud's fiancee. She says that she thinks Sweden should give Skåne to the Danes. The comment is ignored. Lejonhufvud says Nils was very impressive because here's a priest willing to sacrifice his life for his people. He adds: "Only such a priest could bless our marriage."

Lejonhufvud asks Nils if he would honor them by performing the marriage ceremony?   Nils says God might not bless the union, because today Lejonhufvud killed a man. Hedvig is tickled at the remark but Lejonhufvud is furious and leaves the table.

Lejonhufvud goes to visit the widow of the man he shot today. The woman spits in his face. The man composes himself and says thate death is a tool to use to wake up the Scanians to the fact that: "Treason will cost each village every tenth able-bodied man."  The wife says his fiancée is very lovely, but what if she shot Lejonhufvud's woman, then the woman would be like her husband: "She'll just be a smelly corpse." The Swede holds out his hand to the wife and when he does so Nils sees the man's ring. It is the same ring of the Swede in the carriage paying off the bandits he hired to kill Nils' family.

And now a flaming cross-bow dart whizzes right past Nils and lands on the opposite wall. Other flaming darts light up the stored hay in the town. Black Stina and her shadow kill several Swedish soldiers. Black Stina remarks: "Welcome to Skåne."  Nils helps the partners steal the carriage on which the war-chest is loaded. But the robbery is not accomplished, because a number of Swedish soldiers stand in the way on the street to freedom for the snapphanes.

Lucky for Nils he sees Hedvig. He grabs her and takes her hostage. He holds a knife to her throat and Lejonhufvud has to tell his men men to let the carriage pass. After the carriage leaves, Lejonhufvud sends his soldiers out with torches to try and catch up with the carriage. "The war-chest contained copper coins worth 30,000 daler. Enough to decide the fight for Skåne."

Village of Harlosa. A spokesman for the village declares: "Snapphanes aren't welcome here!" The snapphanes try to convince the villagers that Lejonhufvud will be coming this way in a little while. Nils says that the man has sworn to execute every tenth able-bodied peasant. The spokesman tells the snapphanes to get out quickly, or they will be killed.

Nils gets off his horse and walks over to the spokesman. He places the barrel of the musket up to his pwn chest and says that they may as well kill him first since he has nothing to live for anymore. He tells the spokesman that the Swedes killed his entire family. And the same thing will happen to these villagers. Black Stina backs that up by saying they also have Swedish copper.

So at night a big party is thrown. A little girl comes over to the snapphanes and gives them a message, which says: "Follow the girl." Black Stina and Nils follow the girl, who leads them to none other than Roosman. The leader tells the two snapphane that there is something terrible out in the forest. They saw what happened to his men. A man suddenly came out of nowhere on his horse with a weapon raised above the right side of his head. The man is called the Lone Rider and his mission is to kill snapphanes. Now that Roosman had warned the pair, he is going to continue running away. Black Stina asks him to stay and fight alongside them. He says he's scared of the ghost and leaves.

The village prepares to fight the Swedes. Black Stina tells Nils that after the fight they will met at the Tykarp Caves. [ In Skåne most churches are built of limestone One of the places where limestone was mined was at Tykarp. A cave was created when the limestone was mined out, beginning in the 12th century.]

Lejonhufvud rides into the village. An ambush waits for him. A couple of his men are shot down and Lejonhufvud orders a retreat.

Tommarp. Lejonhufvud's Camp. Lejonhufvud is in a bad mood. He makes a mistake and tells a man to get out of his tent.  When the King of Sweden emerges from his overcoat and hood, Lejonhufvud immediately apologizes. The King tells him to report. A battle for Sandby seems inevitable. But after that battle, Lejohhufvud says Sweden should grab more land to make Sweden rich and powerful again. The King just wants to know about the missing war-chest. He loses his patience with Lejonhufvud and yells at him to find the war-chest immediately.

The King starts to write a request for more troops in Skåne. Now Lejonhufvud tells the King that his fiancée Hedvig was taken hostage by those who stole the war-chest and carriage. The King says he will give Lejonhufvud three days to find her. Then they will summon a squadron of troops.

Black Stina thinks trouble is coming their way. She tells everyone to go back into the cave. She grabs Hedvig and holds a pistol to her throat. A shot rings out and Black Stina is hit near her right eye. She tells the others that this might be the work of the Lone Rider. They retreat further back into the cave. David is suddenly shot.

Hedvig gets out of her rope binding, gets up on the carriage and starts driving off with the war-chest and carriage. The snapphanes hear the sounds of the carriage being moved. David tells his brother Josua to get out of here. He will try to get the Lone Rider to follow him, so the others can get away.

Black Stina tells the men she has to sit and rest for awhile. She tells Nils to go stop Hedvig. Nils runs to the opening of the cave, but he sees that the carriage is already quite a ways from him. And he sees Hedvig tied by rope to the back of carriage. She falls and is dragged along. Is this the work of the Lone Rider?

Nils starts chasing after the carriage. He takes a short-cut and jumps on the top of the carriage. He then gets in the driver's seat and stops the carriage.

He puts bandages on Hedwig's wounds. Then he ties her to a tree, saying he will come back for her. He starts running again.

The Lone Rider comes up to Hedwig. He raises his weapon and brings it down close to her head, but doesn't cut her. Then he just disappears. Hedvig gets herself out of her ropes and runs to the carriage.

Nils reaches Black Stina and Bigscared. Black Stina wants to know where the war-chest is. So Nils take them to the place where he left Hedvig. The horses and carriages, plus Hedvig, are all gone. The one thing they do find there is the Lone Rider's pick axe stuck into the trunk of the tree. Now Josua comes carrying his dead brother David.

Hedvig arrives at Lejonhufvud's camp, while the snapphanes hold a funeral for David.

After the funeral Josua says they just have to get that war-chest back. They will go to the nearest village, Flyinge. Black Stina says Lejohhufvud may have returned to the village he lost: Harlosa. So they ride to Harlosa.

Harlosa is now in ruins. Lejonhufvud left one man alive so he could tell Nils thank you for the war-chest. The man says he hates Lejonhufvud, but he hates Nils more. He says: "I hate you for making us listen to your fancy talk of freedom." Now they have nothing left.

Black Stina says they will ride to Sandby Castle for Lauman is waiting for them. Nils says he's going after Lejonhufvud for his family were killed by order of Lejonhufvud. Black Stina says Nils will die if he goes after Lejonhufvud. Before he leaves, Nils throws his Bible on one of the house fires.

Flyinge. Lejonhufvud's Camp. Nils sneaks up on Hedvig. He grabs her and holds a knife to her throat. He mentions the massacre at Harlosa. She too was very upset at all the bloodletting and savagery. He lets her go. She asks him: "What makes you think that I'll ever forget it?"

Lejonhufvud comes up behind Nils and tries to grab him, but Nils pushes him into a boiling hot pot of water and his face gets badly burned. Hedvig tells the soldiers to go in the wrong direction.

Three days later. Nils arrives at Sandby Castle. He asks around and learns that today will be the Battle for Sandby.

The snapphane friends of Nils are running back to the fort, retreating from the Swedes. One of the men with them is shot down. The others start running harder, but they all slip down a slope to a road where a bunch of Swedish soldiers are located.

The war is over. Denmark withdraws its forces. Sandby Castle is under Swedish control.

Nils is in the process of being hanged. He is only saved by Hedvig who was just passing by. She says that the man is her steward and she wants the soldiers to get him down and release him immediately.

She walks with him and asks him what the heck is Nils doing here? He's concerned about the snapphanes. Just then someone calls out for Hedvig Sparre. Lejonhufvud wishes to speak to her. So Hedvig and Nils walk over where Lejonhufvud is resting in his bed. Lejonhufvud tells her not to let them take him to Stockholm.

The King comes in to visit with Lejonhufvud, who tells the King that he will catch the man who did this to him. He says that all the snapphanes are being rounded up in Bengtarp.

Alone again, Hedvig asks Nils what are his plans? He says that his friends would give their lives up before they would spill his name. So that's why he has to rescue these friends. Hedvig gives him a letter from Lejonhufvud to use to get through various check points. She says: "I won't save your life again."

Hedvig thinks about not marrying Lejonhufvud, but her father says that the family has been so blessed with success because Hedvig is the fiancée of Lejonhufvud. He also says that he gave his word to Lejonhufvud that his daughter would be his. Hedvig tries to hide her true feelings about the upcoming marriage.

She goes in to give Lejonhufvud the mask made for him to hide the left side of his face that was burned so badly. He puts the mask on. She starts to leave, but he wants to talk to her a bit. He wants her to hear that the King of Sweden may not last for much longer. That would clear the way for Hedvig to be the Queen of Sweden.

Bengtarp. Nils sees the snapphanes being brought out of a building one by one and dropped onto the lawn. The snaphanes seem to be dead. Nils kills a rat and takes the innards out of the rodent and then puts mushrooms in the empty cavity. He gets access to the camp at Bengtarp with the help of the papers provided to him by Hedvig.

Nils goes over to the barn and gives Bigscared the mushrooms from the rat's empty cavity. He then tells Bigscared to trust him. Now Nils goes into the barn where the snapphanes are being tortured. There he sees Black Stina. And now Nils comes face to face with the very man who shot him and who led the attack on his family's home.

The man asks who is he? Nils says he was sent by Lejonhufvud to be of some assistance. The man says they don't need any assistance. But then he lightens up a bit and says Nils can be of some assistance.

Bigscared is not to be tortured. He is trussed up with his hands over his head. Bigscared starts puking up the mushrooms and Nils tells the torturer that this man has the plague. So this man and the two other snapphanes have to be taken from the camp before everyone starts dying off.

The big man tells one of his aides to bring a cart around to take these people away. He then turns his back to Nils to work on something else. Nils pulls out a pistol and holds it out like he means to shoot the man in the head. He asks the big fellow if he remembers Tolle and a farm that was hiding snapphanes owned by the Geting family.

Another soldier comes into the barn and Nils has to hide his pistol behind his back quickly. The soldier says that Nils must shoot the snapphanes and burn their bodies. But the family killer says he wants Nils to get the name from Bigscared. So Nils starts yelling at Bigscared demanding to be given the name. Bigscared starts crying and gives the name Nils Geting.

Away from the camp Nils talks with the three snapphanes. Black Stina tells him he shouldn't have had Bigscared give the name of Nils Geting. For sure Lejonhufvud will be coming after Nils. They are interrupted by a horseman who they think is probably the Lone Rider.

Lejonhufvud leads the treaty talk with the Swedish and Danish representatives. He asks the head of the Danish delegation what are they doing about the snapphanes?  The Danish fellow says they promised the snapphanes refuge in Denmark. Lejonhufvud demands that the snapphanes remain on Swedish soil. The Danes will hand over all the snapphanes to the Swedish military. The Dane that worked with the snapphanes, Lauman, says these people will not be turned over to the Swedish military for they fought and died for the Danish cause. The Danish leader tells the man to get out. Lejonhufvud warns the Danes: "If you want peace, you'll give me the snapphanes.

A notice is put up on a board saying that "all Danish sympathizers will be granted safe passage to Danish soil." Nils' friends confer on whether they should go to Denmark or stay in Sweden. Nils himself says he will keep pursuing Lejonhufvud until he kills the murderer. The friends asks Nils to ride at least part of the way to the meeting place for the journey to Denamrk  Nils agrees.

So they all report at the gathering place. They talk to Lauman and from his facial expressions Nils senses that something is wrong. But they all turn in their weapons.

Nils tells the gang that he is leaving now. And here comes Hedvig to save Nils once again. She tells the group of friends that they will all be executed if they don't get out of here. Lejonhufvud's men are stationed all around the area. Black Stina says they will stay here and make a last stand.

Nils, however, has a different idea. He says they will save themselves from annihilation and later take revenge on Lejonhufvud. The friends agree on this and they start heading toward the wagons from where they think they can get away from the oncoming massacre.

They get past the wagons, but now they have to face Lanum who says he cannot let them escape. But on the other hand, he can't shoot them. Do the friends get his meaning? Black Stina signals to Bigscared who crushes Lanum to death. As the Fanish flag comes all the way down the flagpole, the signal for the massacre, the friends are running down the stream bed.

They escaped the massacre, but now what will they do? Hedvig has an idea. She tells them that Lejonhufvud will lead a coup d'etat, in which the King will be murdered. If the friends expose the plan, Lejonhufvud will lose all his power, be degraded and, says Nils, be executed.

Sandby Castle. Hedvig listens in on the conspiratorial talk of Lejonhufvud. One consppirator says:  "The power of attorney was issued by the Council, which had governed Sweden before the King came of age."

Hedvig lays on Lejonhufvud's bed pretending really to want to have sex with Lejonhufvud. But before she will have sex she asks Lejonhufvud where will the King be killed? At the ball. The King will sign the power of attorney that will enable the Council to place him on the throne after the King is dead.

Now Lejonhufvud tells Hedvig to get undressed. She starts unlacing her laces slowly . They are interrupted by a messenger who says there is a message for Hedvig Sparre. She excuses herself and leaves the room. She pays the messenger and then leaves the castle.

Hedvig goes to the Black Stina group camp and tells them what she has learned. Nils adds something he just though of. Maybe Lejonhufvud is planning to ride to Sandby Castle with his own men dressed in Danish military uniforms. Everyone will think the Danish soldiers killed the Swedish King. This will lead to war between Sweden and Denmark.

Hedvig suggests that they all go to the ball. She has fancy clothes which the friends can wear.

Alone with Hedvig, Nils says she has become a puny snapphane. She just says she's doing this to atone for her sins committed during the war. Now she returns to the castle.

Nils sees a horse with a G for Geting embroidered on its blanket. He goes to check on the G and provides the Lone Rider with a chance to come up behind him. When Nils turns around he sees the Lone Rider is none other than his own father.  Dad says the snapphanes raided his farm and killed his family. He played dead and lived. Nils tells dad that it was not the snapphanes who did this terrible deed, but Swedes in disguise as snapphanes. Dad just says that he is out to kill the four snapphanes who escaped the massacre of almost all the snapphanes. Nils yells at dad to let these people live, but dad just gets on his horse and rides away.

The four remaining snapphanes come to the ball. While there Nils hears old man Dahlbergh still taking credit for the victory that happened twenty years ago.

Hedvig comes over to tells Nils that the King won't sign the power of attorney. They will just have to wait for Lejonhufvud's next move before they can decide what they will do. Or they could go straight to the King.

So they go in and tell the King flat out that he is to be killed in a coup d'etat. The King goes for the pistol on his desk, but the others stop him and cover him with their pistols. He calls Hedvig a traitor, but Hedvig says they have come to help him.

They ask who does the King trust above everyone else? Dahlgren. Then, Hedvig says, Dahlgren will come to His Majesty and tell him that the Danes are in the woods and will attack tonight.

Just then Dahlgren knocks on the door to see the King. The snapphanes and Hedvig go hide. Hedvig grabs Nils' hand. Dahlgren confirms what the snapphanes told him.

Nils is going to shoot at, but not hit, the King with a pistol shot.  The King will pretend he is dead. Josua will pretend to be a medical doctor and pronounce the King dead.

Hedvig now goes to tell her father that she knows about the plot and she does not want him to be the one to declare the King dead.

The King comes out and greets the people. He says the Danes will attack Sweden tonight.

Nils goes to the old powder magazine. He sees the color-bearer who is supposed to be the one to shoot the King.

Dahlgren now goes and questions the new doctor. He even quizzes Josua on how many chambers does the heart have? When Josua answers "five" Dahlbergh kills him with a pistol shot.

Black Stina and Bigscared witnessed the execution of their friend Josua. Black Stina says they have to prevent Dahlbergh from reaching Lejonhufvud. They go to find Hedvig.

Nils sneaks up on the color-bearer. The guy he grabs turns out to be the killer of the Geting family. He's a big guy, so he starts knocking Nils around. Nils falls down a slope.

Black Stina informs Hedvig of the need for a new doctor. She suggests that Hedvig talk to her father. Dahlbergh show up and asks where's Lejonhufvud? Black Stina misdirects Dahlbergh.

Black Stina and Bigscared follow Dahlbergh, but the man knocks out Black Stina and he knives Bigscared in the belly.

Hedvig tells her father the truth about what's going on. The snapphanes are helping the King. And dad must pronounce the King dead.

Black Stina recovers and she asks which way did Dahlbergh go? She runs to catch up with him. Dahlbergh is out on the ball floor. Black Stina comes over to him and says it was actually Olof Geting who was the hero of that battle twenty years ago. She says they are ready to expose his life as a total lie unless he stays away from the King.

Nils awakens, but his father is pointing his musket at him and saying that Nils will die if he's a snapphane.

The King is ready to go after the Danes, but Lejonhufvud gets the King to say that he will let the Danes fire first as the aggressor.

Dad gives Nils a last opportunity to pray to the Lord. Nils begs God for forgiveness of his father's sins. He also says that he is not afraid to die. When he turns around, his father is gone and Nils is still alive. Nils gets up and runs back to the castle.

The King arrives at the castle and the color-bearer shoots the King (who is wearing a steel vest). The King pretends he's dead and the real doctor proclaims him as dead. Panic spreads through the people when they hear that the King is dead.

Nils pulls the color-bearer from off his horse as he retreats from the castle. But once again, Nils is disabled by the bigger and stronger man. The bad guy says how his mother died at his hands. And now he's going to shoot Nils between the eyes. A shot rings out and hits the color-bearer in the back. The shooter is Nil's dad. And now he acknowledges his son as Nils. Dad is stabbed by the killer, but then dad stabs the bad guy. With his last words, dad tells Nils how he remembers his boy always hiding in the hay-loft. Nils cries over his father's body.

Dahlbergh announces the new King to be Lejonhufvud. The attendees are shocked. Lejonhufvud has to ask them to applaud for him. They do so.

Black Stina and Bigscared run into Nils on the road still holding his father's dead body.

Nils show up to challenge Lejonhufvud to a duel. He says this is the moment he has been waiting for. The new King just tells his men to burn him alive.

Suddenly, the real King bellows out with: "Don't touch him!" He tells the people about the failed coup d'etat led by Lejonhufvud. And he shouts that Lejonhufvud isn't going anywhere. He's staying here.

Lejonhufvud grabs a sword and duels with Nils. Nils is winning but then Lejonhufvud pulls out a sword/pistol and shoots Nils in the right thigh. Nils recovers and wins the duel. But he decides not to slit Lejonhufvud's throat. He then asks the King if he needs any more help? The King says Nils and his friends shall have their freedom.

Tolle. Nils has buried his family. Black Stina and Bigscared say they want him to come to Denmark with them, but Nils says he's going to stay in Tolle. After they leave, Nils goes back to talk to his family's graves.

 

Good movie.  This film deals with the fight of Denmark and Sweden over what is today the southern peninsula of Sweden known as Skåne (or Scania in English).  In one way, it's a long explanation of why still today Skåne is different from the rest of Sweden.  The snapphanes were groups of Skåne residents who fought against Sweden during the Scanian War (1676-1719).  After the war there were still a lot of grudges held against Sweden for mistreatment by the Swedish military leaders.  Skåne still carries a culture deeply effected by 18th century Scanian culture.

The film illustrates the grievances of the Scanian people.  (One has to be careful on this subject.  The American South had lots of grievances against the North and the South kept much of the 19th century Southern culture.  But histories of the South were often pro-South and deeply affected by Southern racism, prejudice and discrimination.)  The Scanian histories and films may also suffer from selective memory making it appear that the Scanian people were just horribly mistreated.  Some people refer to this phenomenon as "defeated cultures" where the survivors cling too much to the cultures of the century in which the cultures were literally defeated through force. 

The film paints the Danes and the snapphanes as very highly moral and the Swedes as bloody cut-throats.  Nils has his house burned down and his family killed by Swedes disguised as snapphanes.  Nils vows vengeance against the men who killed his family. 

There's a lot of action in the film with plenty of fighting. 

One thing that was lacking from the film is any real love story.  There is a potential love story, but the love never really blossoms. 

The acting was good all around I thought.  I can't remember saying anything critical about the acting jobs when I was watching the film.

But Skåne is still different from the rest of Sweden. The landscape and the culture are different. The diet and customs are August Strindberg and Carl Linnaeus.

I can remember when I was first in Sweden. From the leader of a summer program I got the feeling that Skåne was a very different area to the rest of Sweden. They have a different dialect than the majority of Swedes. I got the impression that kåne was something like the American south which is still a different part of the USA. I was wary of the Skåne region because of what I had heard about the province..

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

 


Historical Background:

 

1654-1720  --  House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach, begins. 

1658 -- the province of Skåne, up until the Treaty of Roskilde, formed part of the kingdom of Denmark. 

1658–1719 -- a transitional period; Skåne was not considered part of Sweden proper, but had the status of conquered "foreign land" under a Governor-General.

1660 -- 1697 -- reign of King Charles XI.

1676-1679  --  Scanian War between Sweden and Denmark when Sweden's king was Charles XI.  Sweden is the victor. 

1678.-- for three years, Denmark and Sweden have fought for control of Skåne.

1697 – 1718 -- reign of King Charles XII.

1710 -- the Battle of Helsingborg was the last serious Danish attempt to retake the province.

1719 -- Skåne was divided into two counties and has since been regarded as fully integrated with the rest of Sweden.

1720-1751  --  House of Hesse begins under King Frederick.

 

 

 

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