From today all Swedish film screened by Sweden’s largest cinema chain SF Bio will be subtitled in Swedish. Yes, all.
While foreign films have always been subtitled rather than dubbed in Sweden (except animation for children), the decision to introduce same-language subtitling for ALL screenings of ALL films has caused controversy in the country that prides itself on being progressive in film matters.
While the move is aimed to improve access for those with hearing problems, the decision has not been universally well received.
This is the message on the homepage of SF Bio:
News! As of December 19 SF Bio will also be showing all Swedish films with Swedish subtitles. This is to facilitate for all those who have difficulty understanding what is said in the films.
In Sweden there are over 1 million people who have some form of hearing loss. For these people, it has been difficult to go to watch Swedish films when they had trouble hearing the dialogue, and it has been confined to a few screenings with Swedish subtitles. Now we want to improve accessibility for all and will henceforth show all Swedish films with Swedish subtitles.
Movies with foreign dialogue is subtitled almost without exception in Swedish, but for those who have difficulty understanding the dialogue on Swedish films are also shown some films with Swedish dialogue also with Swedish subtitles. The range of subtitled movies for various reasons been limited, but a selection of films are produced with Swedish subtitles.
The switch to all-subtitling was supposed to have taken place on 5 December, but got postponed for two weeks for ‘logistic’ reasons, as explained in the Swedish newspaper for the deaf community.