In a millennial Swedish newspaper poll, this coming of age drama beat out Bergman to top the public vote for the best Swedish film ever made. Why it isn't better known outside Sweden is a mystery, since it's self-evidently a classic piece of storytelling. Blue collar Malmö in the depressed '30s, and as Berggren crafts his first novel in the back bedroom, mother Storm is worn out by years of picking up after her alcoholic husband Hjelm. Widerberg's second feature captures the impatience and heightened sensitivities of youth with attuned freshness, but even though the focus is on significant news from the publishers and girlfriend Frambäck, the heart of the film is Hjelm's magnificent performance as the addled paterfamilias, a man driven to liquid self-destruction by the class-created gulf between his aspirations and his achievements. By turns lyrical and impassioned, bitterly humorous and emotionally alert, this will be a welcome revelation to those who know only the fey romanticism of Elvira Madigan.