The Guitar Mongoloid

Feb 05, 2015

(2004, Sweden, 35mm, 89 min)

Östlund’s feature debut is set in Jöteborg, a fictional Swedish city resembling the director’s own hometown of Göteborg (Gothenburg). His focus is on outsiders and nonconformists, in particular the titular musician, a young man facing dire obstacles in life. 

The mostly non-professional cast brings a documentary quality to this loosely scripted communal portrait, wrought with compassion and touches of humor. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2005 Moscow International Film Festival, The Guitar Mongoloid is shot in typical Östlund fashion, with an observant camera capturing life from fixed positions.

Screens with:
Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 
(2005, Sweden, 35mm, 9 min) 

A young man boasts to friends that he will jump from a high bridge into the river below, then  begins  to  have  second  thoughts. This penetrating short presages Östlund’s Involuntary for its illustration of peer pressure and Force Majeure for its critique of the fragile male psyche.

Disclaimer about use of the word "mongoloid"

"The term “mongoloid”, referring to people with Down syndrome, was dropped by the World Health Organization in 1965 because it was and still is considered to be offensive to those of Mongol ethnicity. 

Dr. John Langdon Down, who discovered Down’s syndrome in the 1860s, used “mongolism” and “mongoloid” to describe the syndrome as he stated that there were similar physical characteristics of people with Down’s syndrome to people from Mongolia and Mongoloid race (those of Asian ethnicity). This phrase was used until the 1960s, when scientists petitioned to use “Down’s syndrome” instead of “Mongolism” or “Mongoloid”.

Furthermore, in many countries, the word has come to be used as a term of offense. There are many campaigns around the world trying to stop the hurtful and offensive usage of “mongoloid” and to promote the original meaning, namely, “related to the culture, language and people of Mongolia.” 

We hope you choose not to use it in the future in derogatory context and educate others in its correct meaning."

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