There are a lot of places where you can get new travel inspiration from and I have got it from the TV twice now. This time it is from a Swedish documentary called The Man From Jupiter. It’s about a Swedish man who lived without any friends or family for 45 years in a small apartment outside Stockholm. Only the building of a 7 meter long model cruise liner in his living room gave him pleasure. Until the film team arrived…
The film did hold me in a sturdy grip all the time, I couldn’t let it go. It was not my meaning to see the film at all, but I could not stop to watch. How could it be possible to isolate yourself like Hans-Erik Norberg did, for so many years and WHY…?
The film team lead by the documentary director Erik Strömdahl really succeeded (or was it Hans-Erik himself?) to reach out to my heart, I felt such a compassion for him. And sadness: no one should be forced to live like that without human closeness!
The answer was obvious after a while: with a childhood of sickness (several heart operations), abuse of his father and bullied around in school, he decided to not have any friends anymore. Just like that. Or maybe not if thinking about it: I can understand where it was coming from since he had been betrayed so much and from his own family too. Why is it that we humans so easily pick on other human beings?
Everything changed though after the director of the film got in contact with him. To finally talk to someone, someone with patience, understanding and compassion, who tried to understand what happened and helped him to understand himself what have had happened.
The title of the film came from Hans-Erik himself, when people asked, he said he came from Jupiter. It says it all. Can you imagine how off he must have felt himself to be from other persons?
The film team even let him come with them to southern Sweden to explore the friendship of one of his old friends who lived down there now, plus visiting his relatives he had not have had contact with all those years, to straighten out some misunderstandings. After that things turned out different for him.
Especially after they also took him over the border to Copenhagen, Denmark. You should see his face expression when they did drive over the bridge and he got to know that they had passed the border. That he was actually ABROAD now. The fascination in his face will never leave my mind… How he did put down his feet on the new country’s ground, like it was on the moon he had landed!
If I ever get tired of traveling I will try to remember that expression of his feeling when being abroad for the first time in his life!
He said himself: it happened something when they went to the Tivoli in Copenhagen. He suddenly got a very happy feeling and it would not leave him, since then he was much more happy… It breaks my heart, that such things that the film team did, could change his whole life vision. From being such an offish person, to this new, open for life person, with so little attention! He should have had that 45 years earlier!
When the film team was leaving him, one of the young girls did give him a long hug – afterward they got to know that it was the first hug EVER he got from a woman… Can you imagine to be in his shoes…?
Available at YouTube with English texts, have a look:
The film team continued to meet him, to help him to shop among other things – I guess they couldn’t let him go as I couldn’t when watching the film – and finally after the Christmas holidays they couldn’t get in touch with him suddenly and went there to see what was up.
They didn’t get any answer when knocking on the door and checked with the health care which had not have any luck either, so finally they contacted the police which went in to the apartment and sadly enough found him dead…
I so wanted a more happy ending… *deep sigh*
©Lifecruiser Love The Man from Jupiter