Celebrating a “New Chapter” of The Emigrants

It’s hard to visit the Chisago Lakes area without noticing the beautiful scenery and Swedish influence. These notable features were the inspiration for Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg’s series The Emigrants, written in the 1940s and 1950s. Moberg’s saga chronicles the story of a family emigrating from Sweden to the beautiful and fruitful land of Chisago Lakes. Required reading for many Swedish students, this story and its characters have been cherished for generations, both in Sweden and here in Chisago Lakes.

The Chisago Lakes Tourism Bureau is celebrating the next “chapter” in this timeline with the anticipation of the upcoming release on December 25 of a new Swedish movie, The Emigrants, by Erik Poppe. In preparation for this epic film, we welcome you to learn more about Karl Oskar, Kristina, and their friends and family, as they so beautifully illustrate what immigration was like for so many people from so many lands. 

Here are some ways to do so:

Read the series:

The Emigrants saga plays out in four books and tells the story of Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson as they leave Sweden to make a new life in America. Vilhelm Moberg spent much of 1948 traveling around Chisago Lakes on his bicycle while doing research for his four-part Emigrant novels. 

The Emigrants, 1949; Unto a Good Land, 1952; The Settlers, 1956; The Last Letter Home, 1959If you don’t already have copies of the books, you can purchase them locally at Glädje Gallery, Gammelgården Museum, Chisago County Historical Society, Twinflower Books or check your local library, too.

Watch the original 1971 film:

The Chisago Lakes Tourism Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and Friends of the Karl Oskar House are excited to present a local screening of the 1971 hit film! 

Starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, this classic film adapts the first two of the four novels (The Emigrants (1949) and Unto a Good Land (1952)), depicting the hardships the emigrants experience in Sweden and on their journey to America. We’ll show the movie in two parts: the first three hours on Sunday, December 12, 2021 from 2pm-5pm. The second half will be shown on January 16, 2022 from 2pm-5pm..

First half of the film:
Sunday, December 12, 2021 | 2pm-5pm
Performing Arts Center at Chisago Lakes High School
29400 Olinda Trail, Lindstrom, MN 55045

Free, donations welcome

Watch Liv Ullmann talk about The Emigrants / A New Land:

Check out the trailer for the new movie:

After much anticipation we are excited to share with you the trailer for the December 25th Swedish movie premiere of The Emigrants by Erik Poppe, starring Gustaf Skarsgård, Lisa Carlehed, and Tove Lo.

Description: The story of Kristina Nilsson, a mother who leaves a poverty-stricken Sweden with her family in the 1850s and sets out on a long, dangerous journey, hoping to find a better life for herself and her children in America. Based on Vilhelm Moberg’s much-loved classic.


Visit local sites featured in the books:

We’re working on a full itinerary guiding you to many of the local “sites” highlighted in the epic series! Travel around Chisago Lakes and imagine yourself as Karl Oskar or Kristina, taking in the sights and sounds of their new home in America. 

The itinerary is coming soon! Sign up here to receive a copy once it’s launched! 

Read a recent article by Group Tour Magazine: 

Group Tour Media recently interviewed Chisago Lakes Tourism Bureaus’s Executive Director Katie Malchow about The Emigrants series, key attractions in the area, and our plans to promote the series and upcoming Swedish film. Check out pages 8 and 9 to read for yourself!

We also invite you to like, follow, and tune into these other local resources that all offer insight into the Swedish Immigration story:


Friends of the Karl Oskar House 

Chisago County Historical Society 

Glädje Gallery

Gammelgården Museum 

Twinflower Books


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