BURROWINGThe houses of this residential estate in western Sweden are all made of pale wood and are surrounded by neat hedges. The carports, children’s playgrounds and woods that lie just beyond the Lidl supermarket car park are likewise an eloquent affirmation of the middle-class “quality of life” ideal. An eleven-year-old whose head is rumbling with brutal thoughts is growing up here. Sebastian is an only child living with his mother. He observes the not-quite-so-young men in his neighborhood with the avidness of a detective. There’s Jimmy, who always carries his little son around with him and has had to go back to living with his parents, who deny him his own key to the house. And then there’s Anders, who always jogs until his fleece jacket is dripping with sweat. Like a seismograph the boy picks up on the inner turmoil of those around him. It’s midsummer, the neighbors are having parties on their terraces and things begin to get scary. To dissect the extreme complexities of modern family life from the perspective of a young boy is an unusual and ingenious gambit. In Man tänker
sitt the viewer is sucked deeper and deeper into the burning hell of the petit bourgeoisie by this experiment – and is amazed to find that the whole nightmare is set in an Ikea catalogue.