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Born: Malmö, Sweden, 8 June 1930.
Died: 1 May 1997.

Already acclaimed as one of the leading novelists of his generation, Widerberg turned to film criticism in the early 1960s. In 1962 he published a collection of essays, Vision in the Swedish Cinema, which vociferously denounced Swedish film as rarified and oblivious to everyday, contemporary issues; Ingmar Bergman was singled out as the primary offender. The following year, Widerberg turned from fiery prose to practice, directing his first feature, The Baby Carriage (1962). Widerberg gained international acclaim with the lyrically photographed Elvira Madigan (1967), which tells the true story of a doomed love affair in morally oppressive 19th-century Sweden. He subsequently made two glossy but effective films centered on the plight of the working class; Adalen 31 (1969), about a bloody strike in Northern Sweden, which won a Special Jury Prize at Cannes, and Joe Hill (1971), a biopic of the legendary American labor leader. A punctilious craftsman, Widerberg has since made only a handful of films, none of which have garnered the acclaim of his earlier efforts.


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This page was last updated on 4 September 2000.