Den vita sporten (The White Game). 1968. Sweden. Directed by the documentary collective Grupp 13, which included Roy Andersson, Bo Widerberg, Lena Ewert, and Jörgen Persson. 102 min.
Sweden was not immune to the political firestorm of May 1968, as demonstrations broke out during a Davis Cup tennis match between the host nation and Rhodesia in the posh holiday resort of Baståd. Swedish student activists, joined by protesters from abroad, led the charge against the racist policies of the white minority Rhodesian Front and against Sweden’s willingness to compete with, and thus legitimize, a government that was sanctioned by much of the international community. True to the spirit of the times, a collective of 13 filmmakers—including big names like Roy Andersson and Bo Widerberg—was formed to document the roiling events, from interviews with impassioned student activists, indignant white Rhodesians, and government officials including Olaf Palme, then the Minister of Education, to tense altercations with the police. The situation grew so heated that the match was postponed and later restaged, secretly, at a private tennis club in France. On November 19, Richard Porton, editor of Cineaste, a quarterly journal dedicated to the art and politics of cinema, introduces The White Game in a special co-presentation with MoMA. Preserved 35mm print courtesy the Archival Collections of the Swedish Film Institute.