The Last Sentence | Chicago Reader

The Last Sentence

Swedish filmmaker Jan Troell (The Emigrants) was ready to retire after his 2008 drama Everlasting Moments, but a fascination with the crusading newspaper publisher Torgny Segerstedt prompted him to direct this respectful biopic. Segerstedt's full-throated denunciation of Adolf Hitler made him a target of the Nazis and a controversial figure in ostensibly neutral Sweden, especially after the government provided rail access to German forces during their invasion of the Soviet Union. Limited to politics, this might have become an exercise in hagiography, but Troell also probes Segerstedt's unhappy marriage and his affair with a Jewish colleague ("You two have your Hitler!" his wife complains bitterly. "What do I have?"). Unfortunately, Troell chose to shoot the movie in digital black-and-white; the imagery seems anachronistic in its precision, undermining the period decor and clashing with the occasional low-grain newsreel footage of Nazis on the march. In Swedish with subtitles.


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