I “met” a fellow film maker on a forum. He was interested in getting some scripts written – and willing to pay for the job. He read some of my work and he called me up.
I can’t say he called me at an opportune moment, because we had guests, but he didn’t ask and I didn’t feel comfortable to tell him to call at another time. He went on talking, and talking a lot, inspiring and interesting and creative. He had money and wanted to do film. Perfect.
If he had not mentioned in the middle of it all that he was a member of Sweden Democracy – a political party that made it into the government last election and works against multi-culture and immigrants and anything that “threatens” our Swedish way of life. Values I don’t stand for.
Why did he tell me?
Or rather, why did he have to tell me?
I have not much of a clue about the political standpoints of those I work with in general. I have not asked and they haven’t told. It has not been an issue.
The movies he wanted to make was not political, he assured me. They had nothing to do with the party.
Suddenly I faced the choice if I wanted to work with someone whose political standpoint I more or less despise. If I wrote for him I risked being taken for supporting racism; if I didn’t – only based on his political views – I behaved just like I think they do to others: exclude people because they belong to the wrong group.
I decided I would give it a shot. I would pretend that I hadn’t heard the last, and I pitched him an idea based on what he said he was looking for. After all, as I said, I know very little about most people I’ve worked with and I could end up being connected with any strange political view or religion there is. And he seemed serious and dedicated to his films and that was what really counted after all, I figured.
After a while I realized that all my characters and my potential stories, based on that pitch, became so overly multi-culture and soaking with morals and values matching my own. I realized I will never be able to tell the audience anything important. I would write to tell him something. I had – despite all my good intentions - succeeded to put a tag on him and put him in a box based on a too small amount of facts. Just as I believe “they” do to other people.