Birgit Tengroth: Jano – Summer Reading Classic Film Book vol. 5


Swedish actress Birgit Tengroth was also a writer. Her first book, a short story collection called “Thirst” (Törst in Swedish, Jano in Finnish), was published in 1948 and it caused a stir because of it’s frank references to sex, adultery, abortion, homosexuality and marriage problems from a woman’s perspective. For a contemporary reader this isn’t shocking but some seventy years ago women weren’t expected to write about these things. Ingmar Bergman adapted Thirst in to a film that is quite loyal to the original work. Actually the book is perfect material for a Bergman film with larger than life themes, troubled people and serious dialogue. The book is apparently somewhat autobiographical and the author herself actually plays one of the roles in the film. Thirst is not dated as it reveals the double standard that still exists at least to some extent. It’s an intense read but definitely worthwhile. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an English version of the book available.



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