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Bo Widerberg wrote and directed this domestic drama. Thommy Berggren is Anders, who works at a factory in Malimo, but dreams of being a writer. He lives with his parents in a poor section of the city.
His father is an alcoholic whose desire for upper class respectability keeps him from working class employment, while his mother struggles as a washerwoman to earn enough money for the family's survival. Anders writes a first novel that is rejected by the publisher; he turns to the girl next door for sympathy and they fall in love.
When she becomes pregnant and wants Anders to marry her, he sees his life unfolding like his parents' and has to decide whether to give up hope and raise a family or to head to Stockholm for a more hopeful future.