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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Going Native

Midsommar (2019) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Swedish exchange student Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren) invites three American friends home with him on their summer vacation to witness his village's great bacchanalia that occurs once every 90 years: Mark (Will Poulter) is a doofus who is bound to run afoul of local custom. Josh (William Jackson Harper), a Negro with trouble respecting authority, is likely to get side­ways with the elders. Christian (Jack Reynor) with his girl troubles, will likely find the Swedish beauties distracting. The latter's needy girl­friend Dani (Florence Pugh) gets included, too. She's trying to recover from family woe.

A chance remark about the Vikings having settled Sweden through slaughter & kidnap, and the back­ground that the summer festival in Hårga goes back hundreds of years, might intimate they could have saved money by not buying round trip tickets. Dani justifies her culture shock by saying, “I am not an anthro­polo­gist.” Since my reading has included anthro­pology books, I might find the film less shocking than would others. The people of Hårga believe in the “circle of life.” In practice that means they don't have the graying of Hårga. They might find our western practice of consigning our failing old folk to homes revolting.

As the nine-day celebration unfolds Christian and Dani make a bear of a decision(s) that will affect their long-term standing. For that matter, all the friends will likely settle into Swedish soil, what­ever their earlier plans.


Hårga is a cohesive community reminding me of my former days in hippie communes. I later, at the time of the Jesus movement, settled into Christian communes. As Christians we were wary of cults that imitate Christianity and snare the naïve by seeming to be more caring than the Christians. This midsummer festival occurring at set intervals is like the feast of Pentecost occurring fifty days after Passover, on which in the Acts of the Apostles was the birth of the church—another cohesive community. The apostles (Acts 1:23-26) by a combination of lot and selection chose a replacement for Judas to make up the twelve. Hårga used their own selection process of lot & choice to pick the ninth member of the number to do some business in the sacred temple.

mushroomswreathAt Pentecost the disciples received the baptism of the Holy Spirit characterized by (Acts 2:17) “visions and dreams,” and at Hårga were visions and dreams from mushrooms and sleeping pills. The disciples (Acts 2:4) spoke with tongues (glossolalia) and during the May dance a tired, garlanded Dani was speaking (and under­standing) Swedish, never having learned it.

Those were similarities. The competition occurs in how each group treats inter­marriage, between insider and out­sider. In Hårga “The babies are raised here by every­one,” and as pertains to Christians in a mixed marriage, their children are covered, (1Cor. 7:14) “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”

Since Hårga is such an insular community, they have a very strong incest taboo. First cousins may marry only with permission of the elders, who keep meticulous track of blood­lines. Christians are commanded to (Acts 15:20) “abstain from fornication,” which would include all the Mosaic prohibitions against incest.

Beyond that, Christians may select for them­selves from eligible mates, as (1Cor. 7:39) “she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.” Being “in the Lord” means abiding in him in this endeavor as in every­thing, and should include the embrace of the obedient church. In “Midsommar” Pelle's sister Maia has been given permission by the elders to mate with one of the guests. Said guest finds him­self “feeling held” by the community—verging on too much information—while the non-Christian mate of a Christian in a sanctified marriage is more likely to feel shunned.

Hårga is jealously separated from the larger society to the extent of insisting on aliases for people & location in Josh's and Christian's theses. Christians are like­wise zealous in obeying, (2Cor. 6:14) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: ...” This is in the aggregate as denoted by the plural pronoun ye. Both Hårga and the church should be able to accommodate discrete individual liaisons (i.e. thee, thou.) The problem is exacerbated in the church by modern Bible versions that employ the pronoun you (or you under­stood) for both singular and plural. Hårga for that matter has its own troubles maintaining the integrity of their scriptures.

Production Values

” (2019) was written and directed by Ari Aster. It stars Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, and Vilhelm Blomgren. Pugh is terrific as her character ranges through a gamut of emotions in closeups and costumes accentuating her face. Her expressions can haunt your dreams, or your night­mares as the case may be.

MPAA rated it R for disturbing ritualistic violence and grisly images, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language. Northern Sweden's midnight sun in July combined with white bodies and robes to saturate the screen big time. There was a bit of relief when the New England Negro was seen sneaking around the grounds at night. His African fore­bears would have been well out of range of the (northern) Vikings. Then they worked the slave plantations in the American South, escaped to the free North, got civil rights, then got book learning, and one of their number goes to Sweden to study these modern day, enlightened “Vikings.” Let's just say he arrived late to the party. You've come a long way, baby!

Cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski's disorienting camera work enhanced the feeling of being stoned much of the time. Excellent music from Bobby Krlic is a foundational mix of compositions and songs that reflect each character's mood and each scene's ambiance.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

There's a lot of New Age friendly grist for the mill here, but I liked making comparisons to Christian communities I've been in. It's a top rate horror picture that I wouldn't mind seeing again even though I'd know what's behind each door. See it if that would suit your taste.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie if you're planning to break up. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.