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South of Sweden magazine interviews Henning Mankell
Posted 2006-09-07, updated 2008-03-23

Cover of South of Sweden Magazine Skåne's new bi-monthly English-language magazine, Scandinavian Insider (formerly South of Sweden), has chosen Henning Mankell to grace the cover of their second issue.

The September/October 2006 edition includes an interview with Mankell by David Wiles that covers more than the usual gloomy Swede clichés:

  Mozambique is somewhere between the third and the tenth poorest nation on earth, depending on which index you use. Even an average European could no doubt live a pretty good life there. So how does a best-selling author live? A big ranch in the hills, perhaps?

"Naturally I could afford to live like that," he says. "But I think it would be such a brutal offence to the people and the nation and to my friends. I told myself at the beginning that I have to live in a way that when my friends come to my home, they won't be ashamed to ask me to visit them. Many of my African friends live much better than I do, and I think that is quite OK. I have a small flat in the city with two or three rooms. I try to live a simple life."

But there's plenty for fans of Kurt Wallander too. Among other topics, Mankell discusses why he chose to give Kurt Wallander diabetes in one of the novels.

There's another article about the film industry in Ystad featuring Karin Johansson-Mex who works as a Film Coordinator at the Department of Trade & Industry for Region Skåne. She talks about the challenges of working on a project as large as the Yellow Bird series in Ystad as well as the benefits that it's provided:

  Then one day the producers from Yellow Bird Films walked into the office of the chairman of Ystad town council and asked for SEK15m (€1.6m) to finance the Wallander films they wanted to make in Skåne. They said they knew they could get the funding to shoot the movie in the Göteborg area, but would prefer to do it in Ystad where the story was set. Oh, and another minor point - they needed a film studio.

"The guy here in Ystad looked at them like they were crazy," says Johansson-Mex. "But with the help of Film i Skåne and other people in the industry, he understood that they were really serious, they meant this. So then they started to try to gather the SEK15m." Together with neighbouring municipalities, Film i Skåne, Region Skåne, and Sparbanken, SEK13m (€1.4) was raised....

Be sure to read the full Scandinavian Insider interview with Henning Mankell as well as their look at the Ystad film industry, Ystad Can Cut It. Tourism takes the focus in their article The Southern Belle – Ystad.