The Swedish Theory of Love
I was very disturbed during my research; loneliness is a real problem and it is something you can measure. Half of the population live alone, one of the highest rates in the world.
In surveys about happiness in different countries, Denmark and Sweden always do well, but this clashes with the fact that Scandinavian countries have the highest consumption per capita of anti-depressants. The Red Cross – who usually deal with wars and catastrophes! - did a survey which discovered 40 percent of the Swedish adult population feel lonely, and launched campaigns to try to combat this.
Then I learned about the growing problem of people dying alone. One of the chapters of the film is about the team that look into these cases, who told me: "You only see people’s houses from the outside or their Facebook lives, but we see the truth behind the happy surface."
It was eerie to follow their work; for example seeing an apartment where an old man lay dead for two years unnoticed – an unimaginably long time. It’s my ultimate nightmare to end life that way.
For people in Ethiopia, for example, it’s beyond their conception that someone can die alone. This is exactly what I reflect upon when I travel to countries considered to be less modern. We look at them with feelings of superiority as if we know better, but I have a strong feeling that in the ‘fast forward’ movement towards modernity, we’ve forgotten how to value very simple human qualities.
Here's the trailer from The Swedish Theory of Love - it is definitely thought-provoking.