This dissertation focuses on Swedish films from 1967 and 1972; an epoch that is marked by a critical view on society. My purpose is to examine how the social criticism was manifested and communicated to the contemporary audience. The theoretical frameworks and discussions that have come up from the study of documentary films - above all from the studies of Bill Nichols - have proved to stress matters that are characteristic of the films. Therefore I make use of these, even though I focus on fiction films.
In the first chapter there is a survey of the influences from earlier debates and earlier film production as well as an examination of how the film companies reacted to the debate's demand for a social committed film. Furthermore, I speculate in why the socially committed fiction films suddenly disappeared from the cinema theatres.
The second chapter deals with the melodramatic structure in the films. I argue that the Swedish society functions as the perpetrator of the films and that the dichotomy between perpetrator and victim is a matter of class.
In the third chapter I further examine the argumentative structures; how they stand out in the over all fictive discourse of the films. I use Aristotle's demonstrative proof along with Edward Branigan's narrative scheme in order to show how the rhetoric functions.
The fourth chapter, finally, focuses on the way the films strive to realise indexical bounds to reality by means of the camera's supposed ability to represent without interfering. The signs that Charles Saunders Peirce calls indexical that are at work are to be understood as historically predicted. The reason why they are used is not that they offer a more "true" representation per se but that they correspond to a contemporary idea of an accurate representation.
Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2000. , 282 p.