Return to High Chaparral

Last year, we visited High Chaparral, a theme park celebrating America’s mythic Wild West in wintery Sweden that had become a welcoming home for refugees fleeing from the Syrian civil war. (Because it was the winter off-season, all of the housing on the park’s grounds was available; the park’s owner, operator and sheriff, Emil Erlandsson, generously donated it to those who’d escaped the unrelenting violence of their native land.)

As strange as that sounds, it was a pretty good deal for about 500 people looking to start a new life in Europe. But with global political winds shifting toward isolationism—and Sweden being caught in President Trump’s cross-hairs as a cautionary tale of so readily accepting such refugees—the Wild West response to a refugee crisis only lasts so long. Not to mention, once the winter ended, tourism season began, meaning all of those open beds were ticketed for paying customers.

And so, MEL Films returned to Kulltorp, Sweden, some 250 miles southwest of Stockholm, to see what happened to Erlandsson and all those he took in during their time of need.

Watch our full 10-minute documentary, Return to High Chaparral, above; and also be sure to check out the original High Chaparral here.

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