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ÖSTERSJÖAR – En dikt av Tomas Tranströmer

In Swedish, voiced by the poet. With English subtitles.

Length: 30 minutes

Genre: Filmpoem / Art

Filmed: In Sweden, in the “wonderful labyrinth of islands and water” of the Stockholm Archipelago and on Gotland.

Method: Digital film. 2K / Full HD

Production Team: Eva Jonasson Wine, Sara Ersson, Paula Tranströmer, James Michael Wine

Original voice recording of Tomas Tranströmer, by Bokbandet of Stockholm (1990).

The film was produced and financed by Longwalks Productions AB, Stockholm.

About The Film

A film of the 1974 poetic masterpiece – ÖSTERSJÖAR – by Tomas Tranströmer, the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Literature. The film follows Tomas’ voice and traces his footsteps around the islands of Runmarö, Sandhamn and Gotland as the poet moves through a great and intimate journey that is “historical, documentary, political and introspective.”

The poet’s eye is acutely drawn to those sudden details in life that reveal the often tragic sweep of history, alongside the abiding beauty and truths found in nature and the unadorned but persistent human dream of belonging — one to all.

Personal and evocative. Authentic and documentary. A poem for our time, for everyone.

But “a summary is impossible.”

The film is not about the poem, it is the poem, in another art form of translation, peering in, stepping back, listening into the images seen and the music heard through an archipelago of words.

Quote from the Director: James Michael Wine

“This film is a remake of our 1993 production of Östersjöar. We made the film the first time so that more people could hear Tomas and be touched by his poetry . Film poems are made to serve the poem, enhance the experience if possible, but never to distract from the words themselves. Since 1993 the genre continues to evolve around the world bringing more people into contact with poetry. Over the years since, I have longed to re-explore the poem and create an even deeper and broader experience. Great poems grow over time.

This is a masterpiece of the 20th Century. And it speaks directly to many of the challenges and concerns, personal and political, that are faced this very day. His grandmother says it best: ‘You have to think of them out there in the boats.’ We live in an age of iEverything and in this poem the poet reminds us of the other, each other, and how we will always struggle to imagine that shared space where everyone belongs.”

Director’s Bio

jmw2James Michael Wine is an American poet and filmmaker living currently in Sweden, with his wife and partner Eva Jonasson. Born in Kentucky, USA in 1954 with identical twin brother Charlie, he grew up on three continents and graduated the University of Maryland in 1976 with a degree in International Political Relations and Literature. Eva and Jim were married in Västerås in 1977.

In the 1980s Jim published poetry with Sun & Moon Press (LA) and collaborated with his twin brother Charlie, a musician and composer, on works of poesia per musica, premiering “A Peace” in 1986 as part of the SPECTRUM Series of American Contemporary Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Between 1991 and 1993 Jim, Charlie  and Eva produced the original film “Östersjöar”, working closely with the poet and friend whom they had known since 1975, for an evening celebrating Tomas Tranströmer at the Nordic Poetry Festival at the Cooper Union in New York.  It was broadcast on Swedish Television in 1994.

On the advice of Leonard Bernstein, the twin brothers complemented their art works by starting an arts media advocacy company working in television on issues ranging from the death penalty, the environment and gun violence, producing more than 100 short films, receiving numerous prizes – including the Grand Prize for Innovative Excellence from the American Video Awards in 1995 – and developing the groundbreaking “Hands Without Guns” public education campaign that garnered recognition from the Clinton White House.

Since moving to Sweden in 1997, Jim has worked with the Peace Appeal Foundation (USA) and the Tällberg Foundation and authored a book, “Probably The Best Country On Earth” (2011). In 2013 Jim and Eva decided to return to their arts – painting, poetry and filmmaking.

The Production Team


Eva on Sandhamn, Sara on Runmarö, Paula on Gotland


Jim figuring out a shot with Eva and Paula (with the camera) at the Blue House, Monica amused and Tomas’ patience wearing thin