Debate: The television series on Palme’s murder risks manipulating us
The fact that drama producers enjoy such great freedoms with the past raises concerns that fiction is increasingly beginning to act as a weapon against which we have very little opportunity to defend ourselves. Our understanding of the past – and the present – can be manipulated, writes Kristina Hultman.
It was reported this week that Netflix is investing in a “fictional interpretation” of Olof Palme’s murder. At the center is a witness to the murder. It is the now deceased Stig Engström who, after being shot at Sveavägen, has been described as evading justice for thirty years.
A dead man who is unable to defend himself is thus used by the production company to create drama.
This trend of openly imagined reality began sometime in the late 1900s, and the boundaries of what can be done in a drama factory have only changed more and more since then.
An example from 2012 is how Olof Palme’s role in the drama was portrayed when the infamous Geijer case becomes fiction. The film was then called “Call Girl” and featured a slightly masked “minister” who bought sex from children.
The fact that drama producers enjoy such great freedoms with the past raises concerns that fiction is increasingly becoming a weapon against which we, as citizens, have very little opportunity to defend ourselves. Our understanding of the past (and therefore of the present) can be manipulated.
And no, we don’t know if Stig Engström killed Olof Palm. Of course, it is possible to test the hypothesis to he did it as a thought experiment. You can even create a TV series for that. But no manufacturing company should exercise the right to build fiction based on it to he did. This is rape for what we know.
So why is this important?
Of course, because this story is based on it Christers Petersons could not be the culprit. The problem with this attitude, of course, is that he can.
Pettersson was acquitted on appeal, but there is still much evidence to make it perfectly reasonable to continue to hold that he was guilty of attempted murder of Lisbet Palme and the murder of her husband Olof Palme.
Almost nothing has been said against Engqvist. No background in violence, no weapon of murder and no strong clue. There is a handbag available, which Magnus does not even carry.
At least as sensibly, his role is interpreted by the fact that he was a witness who got lost in police work and then felt misunderstood.
The fact that it was, does not give us the right to “invent” him as the culprit.
Kristina Hultman, journalist and former political secretary of the National Council for Women’s Peace
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