25 December 1980
P. C. Jersild
Children's Island byP. C. Jersild
Thomas FrykIngvar Hirdwall
Jean-Michel Jarre, Per Carleson, Thomas Macklin
Kay Pollak, Ola Olsson, Carl-Johan Seth
Tomas Fryk, Ingvar Hirdwall, Börje Ahlstedt, Anita Ekström, Lars‑Erik Berenett
The Genesis Children, Robby (film), The Boys of St Vincent
Pool scene from Children's Island (Kay Pollak, 1980)
Children's Island (Swedish: Barnens ö) is a Swedish Drama Film which was released to cinemas in Sweden on 25 December 1980, directed by Kay Pollak, starring Thomas Fryk and Ingvar Hirdwall. It is based on the novel of the same name by P. C. Jersild. Filming took place between July and October 1979. It won Sweden’s most prestigious film prize, the Guldbagge, when it was released in 1980 and was Sweden’s official selection for the 54th Academy Awards. The film became controversial in Australia, being banned in 2014, over thirty years after its original release.
The story is set in Stockholm where 11-year-old Reine is on the verge of puberty and afraid of sexual maturity. He lives in a suburb with his single mother who sends him to a traditional Swedish summer camp (common at the time of the setting and managed by the cities for children in need of visiting the countryside. The title of the film is in reference to an island which is home to many such camps). His mother then vacations on her own, but in fact Reine never goes to the camp, instead exploring the summer city of Stockholm on his own, meeting many strange adults.
It was Kay Pollak's first commercial success and won the awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor (Hirdwall) at the 17th Guldbagge Awards. In 1981 it was entered into the 31st Berlin International Film Festival. The film was also selected as the Swedish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 54th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.