Testimony of Manu and Sandrine in the free zone: Stockholm, Sweden

Filmmakers who went to Sweden to cross the media smoke curtain and see with their own eyes what is going on, to bring back images and to testify, Manuel Poutte wrote us their first impressions upon their arrival in Stockholm. What is striking here is that there is no information on what is happening elsewhere. This omerta speaks volumes.


We arrive at the airport of Stockholm and we notice immediately that people, already here, do not wear mask. Without consulting each other, tears come to our eyes, to both of us. Tears come from seeing, from rediscovering free faces, from seeing women and men without this horrible piece of cloth, the swaddling of our mouths, our words and our humanity.


A little later, in a shopping mall, I see a cake store… I love cakes… I want to go in, but I already have the reflex to wait outside. Several people pass me by and I realize that it has already entered me… this bad habit. Here, there are no lines, no infantilization of the beings obliged to line up behind each other, like kids in high school. Here you can come in whenever you want.


We walk in the street, we smile to everybody and the Swedes don’t understand, they look at us like two stupid people, but we don’t care, we want to eat their faces and to tell them and to shout to them: you don’t realize where we come from!


You get on the bus, you get off in the subway, you get on the train, you go into a department store, nobody wears the mask. Everything is as it was and as it should remain. I film it all with passion. Never in my life would I have thought that such banal things could one day become exceptional.

That’s it, everyone is part of the disaster movie they were told so much about. And he saves the world by staying at home in front of his TV! Heroes of the couch

Suddenly, in an alley of fruits and vegetables, we are afraid to go back home, in the dictatorship of the absurd rule where the people made masochistic learned to take taste to the abuses which they undergo… And he even asks for more… That’s it, everyone is part of the disaster movie he has been told so much about. And he saves the world by staying at home in front of his TV! Heroes of the couch.


The last evening in Belgium, I came back from the office at 1am, and I walked through a part of Boitsfort in an absolute silence, even more impressive than the one of the confinement, because even in the distance there was no more noise of cars, no more human noise, nothing. A white noise. But I had, in addition, by fearing the police, this feeling, at the same time exciting and terrible to be in the illegality… by walking alone in the street.

Curfew… what sick, fascist mind thought that would be effective against coronavirus? 

What psychopathic mind has created this sum of prohibitions that do not have to be there? Punishments that have no power over a virus that certainly does not spread more in the heart of the night, in the streets already emptied for a long time of its inhabitants under sedation, exhausted and frightened by the deadly propaganda of the pyromaniac media. We, the people, guilty, all guilty, of having lowered this mask one day, at one time, for a word, for a smile, for a kiss.


At the end of the day, even if I know that I am on a mission to save the world, I have to admit that more than once I fall for the little cakes I see in the shop windows… they have a lot of them, these Swedes… With cinnamon, orange blossom, raspberries, blueberries, and whipped cream.

I say to myself: let’s take care of our mouths, everything passes through them: the flavors of the world and the kisses of love.

And moreover, they smile, our mouths! They smile and we didn’t know how important that was.

And lyrical again… So the time has come, when we have to fight for that smile.

Manuel Poutte

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