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Den prisbelönta dokumentärfilmen Armbryterskan från Ensamheten handlar om Heidi Andersson som är världsmästarinna i armbrytning. I västerbottens inland ligger den lilla byn Ensamheten. Här bor 16 personer som alla är släkt med varandra. Det skulle kunna vara som vilken by som helst, om det inte var så att alla delar en ovanlig passion: armbrytning. Gemenskapen i byn har lärt Heidi att ”Ensam är man stark och kan nå långt, men tillsammans är man starkare och når längre”.
En film full av värme, energi och humor.
—The Armwrestler from SolitudeA tiny village in Northern Sweden is called Solitude (Ensamheten). It has sixteen inhabitants and they are all related. It could be any old village, if it wasn’t for their shared and somewhat unusual passion: armwrestling. 22 year-old Heidi Andersson, a slight girl with long dark hair and an intense gaze, has been world champion in armwrestling three times.Heidi’s life is full of contrasts. One day she works in the forest planting trees, the next she is in the big city working as a model for bridal gowns. She hunts moose with her mother Jeanette and talks about boys with her father Kent.
Many young people dream of a life in the big city and want to get away from rural life as soon as they can. For Heidi the opposite is true. She wants to stay. She is proud of where she comes from, for Solitude is no ordinary village. The sixteen inhabitants are charismatic people with lively temperaments. They engage in heated discussions on world events, armwrestle and celebrate at the drop of a hat.
Heidi was the first girl born in Solitude in three generations of lumberjacks. She has grown up surrounded by proud male relatives, who for generations have measured their strength by armwrestling after finishing their work in the forest.
As a little girl Heidi had a problem with one eye and she had to wear a patch over it. When she was three the patch was replaced by thick-lensed spectacles. She hated them and did everything she could to avoid wearing them: she left them behind radiators, buried them in the ground, gave them to the dog. She was useless at sports at school, since she could neither aim nor receive balls. She felt ugly and different and the feeling of being an outsider has stayed with her, despite the fact that her sight has been normal since her teens. Her salvation came when she was 11 years old and learnt armwrestling together with her father Kent and other relatives from The Solitude.
At 18 Heidi travelled to Tokyo, Japan, together with her unemployed father, to participate in her first world championship in armwrestling. Kent – a lumberjack, who had never been outside Lapland – saw his daughter win. She came from nowhere and became the world champion of armwrestling. Today (2013)- Heidi has won the world champion nine times.
Heidi is courted by the media. She has participated in TV programmes such as The Gladiators and SVT Miljöhjältarna as well as several game shows and entertainment programmes. She writes personal columns in newspapers. She is called ”the ambassador of armwrestling” and fights to get the sport accepted as an Olympic Sport. She has also won a number of awards for her achievements, among them the prestigious Sportspegeln award.
Lots of people take for granted that she will accept being ”the public face of Lapland” at various events. That puts a lot of pressure on her. Many requests have been very speculative and she has felt exploited. She enjoys the limelight, although her role models, her ideals and all that she says she wants, exist in the remote village of Solitude.
The film tells a unique story about a woman with a passion who finds her own way in a warm and humourous tone.