The 6 Best Films To Learn Swedish

In search of some Swedish movies to help you learn Swedish? Look no further.
The best Swedish movies to learn Swedish | Babbel

From children’s films to black comedy, period dramas and, of course, crime series, there are Swedish movies for anyone interested in learning Swedish — especially if you like something outside of mainstream cinema. Here at Babbel, we’ve chosen eight of our favorites to help you learn about Swedish language and culture. Who knows — maybe they’ll even open up a (Swedish) dialogue to help you practice the words and phrases you’re learning! Pass the popcorn, and let’s get started.

The Best Swedish Movies For Learning The Language

Pippi Långstrump (“Pippi Longstocking”)

Where To Watch: Available to rent form various streaming platforms.

If you aren’t already familiar with her, Astrid Lindgren was the widely-known Swedish author who also happened to produce some timeless movies adaptations of her books. She’s perhaps best known for creating the character Pippi Långstrump, a young girl who moves to the town of Villa Villekulla with her horse and little monkey, Herr Nilsson.

Although Lindgren’s target audience was children, the movies are an excellent resource for adults beginning to learn Swedish. This is especially true because every Swede should be familiar with these tales, making them the perfect instigator for small talk. Lindgren’s other movies are also worth watching, including Emil i Lönneberga, Barnen i Bullerbyn, and Karlsson på taket.

En man som heter Ove (“A Man Called Ove”)

Where To Watch: Available to stream and rent on several different streaming platforms.

The Swedish comedy-drama En man som heter Ove is a delicious taste of the black comedy Swedes are known for — partially, they say, due to the long, dark winters they endure. This Oscar-nominated film (based on a popular book) was written and directed by Hannes Holm, and features a grieving man with steadfast beliefs as he attempts to commit suicide — sounds dreary, but the end it’s quite heartfelt. The humor is subtly peppered throughout this film and is easy enough for beginners to follow along. Also, this Swedish movie gives insights into the local culture as the protagonist goes on to befriend his new neighbors.

Fanny och Alexander (“Fanny And Alexander”)

Where To Watch: Available to stream on HBO Max, Kanopy and the Criterion Channel. Also available to rent from various other streaming plaforms.

Fanny och Alexander is a historical period drama directed by one of Sweden’s — not to mention the world’s — most accomplished filmmakers, Ingmar Bergman. The script is semi-autobiographical (like many of Bergman’s films) and follows two young siblings as their father unexpectedly dies and their mother remarries a bishop who reigns control of their lives. As a classic and award-winning piece of Swedish cinema, it’s a great opportunity for discussion and analysis for those at an intermediate level.

Fucking Åmål (“Show Me Love”)

Where To Watch: Not currently available to stream in the United States.

Fucking Åmål tells the story of two teenage girls in a youthful period of longing in the small town of Åmål, Sweden. Directed by Lukas Moodyss, this drama was commended for its heartfelt realism and accurate depiction of teenagers in the ’90s, especially for members of the LGBTQ community. If you’re at an intermediate level, the relatable and approachable storyline makes this one of the Swedish movie good for intermediate learners.

JJ+E

Where To Watch: Available to stream on Netflix.

The setup for this film is one you’ll almost certainly be familiar with. It’s about an upper-class teenage girl who meets a lower-class teenage boy. Despite having been raised in the same city, their lives are entirely separate — until, of course, they fall in love with one another. Based on a novel by Mats Wahl, it’s a classic love story explored once again. While not a classic of cinema, the tried-and-true formula of the film will draw you in (and it’s always interesting to see a story you know told in a new time and place).

The Millennium Trilogy

Where To Watch: Available to stream and rent on several different streaming platforms.

Moving onto even heavier stuff, the best-selling Swedish crime novels-cum-films by Stieg Larsson deliver a great mix of everyday language layered with thrill. If you aren’t familiar, the Millennium Trilogy is about an investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, and a computer hacker with a photographic memory, Lisbeth Salander, who solve crimes together. You probably know them best by the name of the first movie’s English title, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Allegedly, Larsson based the character of Lisbeth on what he imagined Pippi Långstrump might have been like as an adult, while a secondary inspiration was said to be his rebellious niece. The trilogy is widely popular in Sweden and worldwide, so it’s a sure conversation topic to brush up your Swedish if you’re at an intermediate level.

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Guinevere Jones

Guinevere grew up in the tiny town of Moonambel in Australia among the gum trees and grapevines. She started in fashion design and moved to marketing, but has always enjoyed writing on the broad topic of things that connect people. Her indulgences include miniature objects like ceramic fruit, sunbathing with intermittent dips (preferably at a sandy beach), and cooking for friends. Now living in Berlin, she’s trying her hand at speaking German.

Guinevere grew up in the tiny town of Moonambel in Australia among the gum trees and grapevines. She started in fashion design and moved to marketing, but has always enjoyed writing on the broad topic of things that connect people. Her indulgences include miniature objects like ceramic fruit, sunbathing with intermittent dips (preferably at a sandy beach), and cooking for friends. Now living in Berlin, she’s trying her hand at speaking German.