Filmed in Sweden and the Czech Republic. Most outdoor
scenes were shot in Prague as the Stockholm townscape at the time was
considered to have undergone too many changes to depict the 1920s.
"With a trio of formidable performances (by Salen, Skarsgård, and Frydman),
Slingshot' offers a moving, intriguing look at the difficulties faced by one child set
adrift in a sea of bigotry where his own resourcefulness is the key to survival. There's
more to this film than is suggested by its apparently-simple story, and it's a tribute to
the ability of Ake Sandgren and his cast that so much is effectively realized."
...Film critic James Berardinelli
"'The Slingshot,' may not
equal Truffaut's '400 Blows' or any one of several recent Bergman films as
definitive statements about wayward childhood. But Roland, whom fate often treats with
disdain, has potential: Sandgren presents his flat face as a unformed map, but one with
the intelligence to avoid the shoals and reefs and wreckage of blinkered adults. At least
we hope he will. And something to hope for seems enough to ask of a film, in an age
when childhood seems to equal yabba dabba.' ...John
"There is a wealth of supporting characters to
make this neighborhood sparkle with lively folks. The episodic
nature of the storytelling prohibits any real sustained plot
involvement, but this is a lively and entertaining film."
...Mal Vincent, The Virginian-Pilot
"It is to Skarsgård's credit that by film's end he has made
Fritiof a fully rounded character that elicits our understanding if not our affection...
Director Sandgren's great accomplishment in The Slingshot lies in his skill at molding
Roland's determined innocence into a hardened but positive sense of self. Sandgren looks
through Roland's eyes at a Stockholm that is grim, harsh and unjust.
The film is rich in detail and benefits from the fine cinematography of Goran Nilsson, and
the evocative jazz background score by composer Bjorn Isfalt."
...Morrie Warshawski, Northern California Jewish Bulletin
"Sandgren is a fine director of actors,
his way with young Salen is a wonder, but it's Skarsgård's Fritiof that fills the screen
with a rounded portrait of a voluble, grandiose dreamer who also happens to be a very good
father." ...Kevin Thomas, LA Times
"'The Slingshot' vividly portrays the amazing resiliency of this Swedish adolescent
who valiantly tries to keep his soul intact while everyone and everything conspire against
him. Director Åke Sandgren draws out a sturdy and sympathetic performance from Jesper
Salén in the lead role." ...Frederic Brussat, Spirituality and Health
"Relationships, particularly Roland's complex
interaction with his father, are what make 'The Slingshot"
memorable. Thanks to Jasper Salen's splendid work, the film takes its place as a
worthy addition to the list of fine coming-of-age films."
...Film critic Scott Renshaw
"Though well acted by the appropriately wide-eyed Jesper Salen,
Slingshot' is really little more than a catalogue of catastrophes that surely left
the real protagonist with many emotional scars. Perhaps the film is a cry for help, an
international SOS for a Prozac airlift." ...Rita
Kempley, Washington Post
"One keeps expecting somebody to notice the
genius of the ten-year-old, much as the boy comes to be appreciated
in 'My Life as a Dog', but this is not a film with simple answers
and obvious scenes. Roland's rewards will be far more abstract and
not so dependent on others." ...Film Critic Mark R.
evokes the era of such socially conscious filmmakers as Rene Clair and
Jean Vigo in its appealing charm, working-class ambiance and insightful
humanity. We’re not in France, however. In one wonderfully Swedish
scene, the family passes by the statue of Strindberg on their way home
from a dust-up with the police at a political meeting, and father
proudly shows off his radical brood to the great anti-establishment
playwright." ...Alicia Springer, SF International Film