Locations For Wallander

Maria Garcia
• Monday, 21 June, 2021
• 8 min read

A lifelong socialist, Mandell was keen to stop Star being swamped by the global success of his hero and forbade the tourist board from using the Hollander brand. At the foot of the hilly slopes is a beautiful fishing village and a gourmet bistro, Mendel Ale Star, with a spacious second floor overlooking the sea.

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(Source: www.filmquest.co)


Among the Danish capital’s many delights, you can visit the real-life Copenhagen police HQ at the center of the city (and near the Tripoli Gardens), which is used in both The Bridge and The Killing. Inspector Kurt Hollander loves opera, hates physical exercise and enjoys a drink or two.

In an interesting side note, apparently Kristen Eriksson initially refused to take on the role. In the novels, Kurt Hollander lives in an apartment at Mariagatan 10, a quiet street you'll find just east of the town center.

His favorite café is Frijoles Monitor where he often sits over a brew and contemplates his latest case. The city of Star has created a dedicated online movie map to help visitors find many of the key locations in town...

It showcases the interior of Wallander's apartment where visitors can sit in Kurt's chair and contemplate how lonely it can feel to be a cop. The filming of Young Hollander, an upcoming Netflix Original series, started in Vilnius, Lithuania at the end of this August.

The Lithuanian capital is to be reimagined as the Swedish city of Malmö, where the protagonist, detective Kurt Hollander, lived. The story of Kurt Hollander is set in contemporary Sweden, where now-iconic detective character, a recently graduated police officer at the time of the narrative, works his first case while struggling to overcome both personal and professional challenges.

wallander ystad sweden strolling gorgeous through which these filmquest locations lanes
(Source: www.filmquest.co)

With its huge cinematic potential and diversity of settings and landscapes, the city acts as a perfect backdrop for the Swedish-set narrative. Offering an abundance of compelling locations, from moody and dark alleys and disused prisons to shining trendy restaurants, it provides the wide-ranging look and feel the creators of the series were after.

If you’re brave enough to open this jar of rotten fish, then the first thing you’ll notice is that it is set today, meaning that the production doesn’t even have the courage of its convictions to make it a proper origins' story. While they cuss him as he walks past, they never once stop to ask why he, a fellow Swede, speaks with such a strange accent.

They have merely taken the Hollander brand and slapped it onto a hokey, “gritty” crime drama, more akin to Top Boy, then any Stand noir. All of this could be forgiven if Young Hollander worked as a drama in its own right, but it’s so inept that one can only assume these decisions form some sort of elaborate marketing strategy by Netflix.

If they’ve spared expense, it’s on the script, which provides us with a leaden, clichéd plot about gold-hearted immigrants and grubby billionaires, filled with characters that I will generously describe as two-dimensional and soft-boiled dialogue akin to something out of a workplace training video. Owner: “What are you hunting?” Young Kurt: “Just the truth.” The script treats the viewers like idiots, signposting every plot point and rolling out exposition in inert question-and-answer scenes.

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Thus, life was first breathed into Kurt Hollander, Sweden's fabulously grumpy, dysfunctional fictional detective. More than 25 m copies of Hollander novels have been sold since Mandell created the character and featured him in Faceless Killers, published in 1991.

Not everything is perfect, of course: the dialogue is woeful, while scenes from each episode seem to have been filmed at random times of year. One minute frost is covering the ground, the next fields are filled with ripening wheat.

What are the complexities of this dark, humorless misanthrope that make him so endearing to British audiences. Even Mandell admits that he dislikes the messily divorced, diabetic, fast-food addict that he created from his perusals of Swedish telephone directories.

According to publisher and writer Julian Evans, an expert on European fiction, it is Wallander's uncompromising self-destruction that so fascinates. This is a man permanently on the edge, 'a sort of walking open wound', as Branch describes his character, and he makes absorbing television.

wallander series
(Source: www.bbcnewzealand.com)

Then there is the background: the bleak, unforgiving soil of Sweden's Kane (pronounced Skinner) region in the south. Born in 1948 and raised from the age of two by his father Ivan, a judge, after Henning's mother had walked out on the family, the author-to-be joined the merchant navy at 16 in 1964 and became a stevedore on a coal and iron ore freighter.

A couple of years later, he arrived in Paris and stayed for the riots and student activism that were to grip the city in 1968. He later travelled extensively in Africa and in 1987 was asked to run the Metro Agenda in Maputo, Mozambique.

Many other novels about foreign detectives are now translated into English and none has had the impact of those involving the resolutely depressive Kurt Hollander. In that sense, Mandell has bigger issues to address than the average detective novelist, which perhaps explains his elusive appeal.

His books and the series made from them, are investigations of the failure of political promise, say critics. 'All of Henning's books are an elegy to the broken socialist dream of Sweden,' the publisher Christopher Racehorse remarked recently.

'Henning still can't get used to the idea that Sweden has failed to deliver its social democratic dream.' We get edge, a sense that a good man is hunting through a landscape of broken dreams for signs that some decency has survived and who rarely succeeds in his quest.

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