Life at Any Cost | Chicago Reader

Life at Any Cost

This 1997 Swedish documentary is a loving tribute to the late film director Bo Widerberg (best known for Elvira Madigan), directed by his friend and sometime colleague Stefan Jarl and featuring the star of many of Widerberg's films, Thommy Berggren. The opening shot is of Berggren looking into the distance, signaling that the film won't pretend to capture much of Widerberg's life or art. Yet it does succeed in giving a sense of the diversity of his interests, of his humanity, and of his modesty (he criticizes directors who “work out exactly what actors should think”). But Life at Any Cost is most likely to interest those who know Widerberg's work well; there's little footage of him and, worse, little footage from his films, so the elaborate descriptions we hear of scenes we don't see are awkward and don't quite come alive.

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