A Hole in My Heart

A Hole in My Heart (Swedish: Ett hål i mitt hjärta) is a 2004 Swedish experimental drama film written and directed by Lukas Moodysson, starring Thorsten Flinck, Sanna Bråding, Björn Almroth and Goran Marjanovic. The story revolves around a man who makes a pornographic film in his apartment with a friend and an attention-seeking starlet, while his teenage son stays in his room and listens to ambient noise music.

A Hole In My Heart
A Hole in My Heart poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLukas Moodysson
Written byLukas Moodysson
Produced byLars Jönsson
StarringThorsten Flinck
Sanna Bråding
Björn Almroth
Goran Marjanovic
CinematographyMalin Fornander
Jesper Kurlandsky
Lukas Moodysson
Karl Strandlind
Edited byMichal Leszczylowski
Memfis Film
Distributed bySonet Film
Release dates
  • 10 September 2004 (2004-09-10) (TIFF)
  • 17 September 2004 (2004-09-17)
Running time
98 minutes

The film is notable for its explicit imagery, including close-ups of vaginal reconstruction surgery, an anal sex scene without the use of lubrication, a masturbation scene with a toothbrush, and an extended scene about the woman's vagina. Moodysson leaves the interpretation of the film to the viewer: "I have cooked you a delicious meal, but I'm not going to chew it for you."[1]


In an apartment somewhere in Sweden, a woman, a man and his friend are recording an amateur porn movie, while the one man's teenage son is trying to stay out of their way in his room. As time progresses, their filming gets out of hand. All the while, the father is concerned that his son has no respect for him, and the son is concerned about how his father treats the woman.



Moodysson's original intent was to have the film taking place in the United States, using an American cast. Research was made about the American porn industry, but eventually Moodysson decided to set the story in Sweden: "I was, like, hit by a truck — and that truck was Lilya 4-ever. When I tried to return to that American version, some kind of story that takes place in the American porn industry, I discovered I couldn’t do it. I had to transform it into this much smaller and more claustrophobic Swedish story."[2]

Filming took place during 4 weeks in Trollhättan.[1] The film was shot digitally with DVCams.[3] After the first day of filming, Thorsten Flinck went to a hospital and lied to a doctor about having an aching back, which prompted the doctor to give him three morphine pills. When Flinck woke up the next morning he started the day by swallowing all three pills. He was nearly fired when he arrived at the set on drugs, but was given a second chance. The rest of the production was free from incidents.[4]


The film premiered at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released in Sweden on 17 September 2004. The theatrical poster featured a warning sign about strong images.[1] Lukas Moodysson has expressed disapproval over the future VHS and DVD releases of the film (the decision to release it was out of his hands) — he would have preferred a theatres-only release, to avoid children being exposed to it.[citation needed]

Critical responseEdit

The Swedish reception was split. With a few reservations, Malena Janson at Svenska Dagbladet rated the film 5 out of 6 and praised Moodysson for his daring approach: "A Hole in My Heart consolidates Moodysson's role as the fearless innovator, border stretcher and truth teller in European cinema - who fully masters, and isn't reluctant to use, the film medium's artistic and political possibilities. To the delight of those who dare to watch."[5] Jens Peterson at Aftonbladet respected the film for being uncompromising, but couldn't give it a higher rating than 2 out of 5: "Several times, the narrative style stands in the way of the story. A Hole in My Heart is both more overly obvious and stranger than Moodysson's three earlier, better, films. Occasionally even tedious, a word you never could have used about Moodysson."[6]

The film was poorly received by English-language critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 44% based on reviews from 18 critics.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Lindberg, Klas (2004-09-09). "'Jag vill att folk mår illa'". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2009-05-19. Det är som om jag har lagat en bra maträtt och då ska jag inte tugga den också.
  2. ^ Anderson, Jason "Heart Attack: Lukas Moodysson on A Hole in My Heart." Archived September 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Cinema Scope (22). Retrieved on 2009-05-19.
  3. ^ "Ett hål i mitt hjärta: Teknisk fakta". Swedish Film Database (in Swedish). Swedish Film Institute. Archived from the original on 2011-06-14. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
  4. ^ Eriksson, Karoline (2004-09-16). "'Jag är totalt prestigelös'". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2011-08-29.
  5. ^ Janson, Malena (2004-09-17) "Gastkramande om nutiden." (in Swedish) Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved on 2009-05-19.
  6. ^ Peterson, Jens (2004-09-09) "Recensioner: Ett hål i mitt hjärta." (in Swedish) Aftonbladet. Retrieved on 2009-05-19.
  7. ^ "Hål i mitt hjärta, Ett (A Hole In My Heart) (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes.

External linksEdit