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Ravens 2017

Ravens | Korparna


As film industry reviewers, we say Ravens is one of our non-favorite movies. Please VOTE!

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RAVENS is a film about how leading a life of unwanted vocation can wreak havoc on one's soul.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this feature film!

About the Ravens 💬

Set in the 1970s and adapted from Tomas Bannerhed's novel of the same name, award-winning photographer and director Jens Assur's feature debut is a look at farm life.

March 1978, Sweden - Hard working farmer Agne (Reine Brynolfsson) struggles with the harsh reality of his daily life, hoping his teenage son Klas (Jacob Nordström) will take over the farm and continue his legacy.

''Disaster strikes when you least expect it.''

Reine Brynolfsson as Agne

Klas however, dreams of a world far away from this rural existence.

''People are capable of anything.''

Reine Brynolfsson as Agne

Sumptuously lensed, this coming of age story, written and directed by Jens Assur, paints a tangled web of shame, guilt, madness and the dreams of youth.


To me, film direction is mainly about one thing: creating a meeting between actor and camera. That is the very essence of cinema. The character and the image. Together they shape the inner and the outer landscape. Ravens is characterized by restrained expression. It was made for the big screen and requires presence. The individual scene is where the drama can be found. That is where the inability, the suppressed emotions, and the unspoken expectations give rise to interpretation and reflection.

That is why the takes are long and the cuts are few. I make films because I want to take the audience on a journey. Intellectually and emotionally, but also to another world, another life.

The world in RAVENS is a small farm, surrounded by black, freshly plowed fields. Where cows with bursting udders constantly crave attention. Where the underlying rock has brought generations of farmers to their knees. Where the horizon is a tree line.

In that world, where there is no respite to be had, Agne (played by Reine Brynolfsson) is struggling to justify his choices and way of life.

It is dark and menacing, within and without.

RAVENS is about how we shape each other, about what we expect - directly and indirectly. It is about generational shifts and the dream of being able to shape our own lives. It takes place in Sweden, in the '70s. But it could easily be a different place and a different time.

I have a journalistic background. I spent years traveling to war zones like Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, and the former Yugoslavia. My work then was about using images to depict complex social developments. My approach was often to share stories about the everyday lives of individuals there. I spent days, sometimes weeks or even months, following and documenting people's actions. Back in Sweden, I would also follow different individuals and groups for long periods of time, for instance, the Hells Angels, Neo-Nazis, or asylum seekers.

I believe that all of these encounters have made me sensitive to believability and authenticity, and I incorporate that in my filmmaking. Everything we see on the screen has to be authentic - the place, the scenography, the costumes, the makeup, and especially the acting.

Friction is a pre-requisite for believability. That is why I incorporate flaws and contradictions into my characters and settings. Like making the tires on Agne's tractor too big because he is vain, or having Gärd be a caring person only up until the day when her own life is at risk of falling apart because she is selfish.

I enjoy trying out new routes on set. I am not afraid to go off script. I am no stranger to letting scenes with a long dialogue be played out in silence and vice versa.

My overall vision for the film's visual aesthetics was never to let it show that it takes place in Sweden or in the '70s. For that reason, I exclusively used reference material from the '40s, '50s, and '60s, and from other parts of the world, predominantly Eastern Europe.

The challenge was to find a place that still resembled a small '70s farm - meaning it had to be relatively small, and the majority of the buildings had to be from the first half of the century - but that was still in use.

I want a farmhouse covered in fiber cement and a yard paved with concrete, where the function is prioritized over form.

In my view, the farm and the landscape make up the film's fourth character, one that evolves and changes along with the other characters.

I want the tonality, the artistic expression, of my films to be cohesive frame-by-frame, scene-by-scene, and act-by-act. I want the audience to uncover what the films are about on their own.

With my first two films, The Last Dog in Rwanda and Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys, I encountered an international festival audience. I was often told that my films had inspired lengthy discussions that rarely ended in a consensus on what they were about.

And that is exactly how I want it to be.

The film is art to me, about creating a meeting between the film and the audience.

That is the very essence of cinema.

The film and the audience.

Jens Assur

Ravens Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Jens Assur

Writing Credits

Jens Assur (Screenplay)

Tomas Bannerhed (Novel)


Reine Brynolfsson

Maria Heiskanen

Jacob Nordström

Saga Samuelsson

Peter Dalle

Jens Jørn Spottag

Roger Storm

Gösta Viklund

Max Vobora

Cinematography by

Jonas Alarik

Genres: Drama, Thriller

Country: Sweden

Ravens Official Trailer

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