Bo Widerberg

Bo Widerberg

Bo Widerberg in 1990.
Born Bo Gunnar Widerberg
(1930-06-08)8 June 1930
Malmö, Sweden
Died 1 May 1997(1997-05-01) (aged 66)
Båstad, Sweden
Nationality Swedish
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, editor, actor
Years active 1962–1995
Spouse(s) Ann-Mari Björklund (m. 1953–54)
Vanja Nettelbladt (m. 1954–73)
Children Nina, Martin, Johan, Matilda

Bo Gunnar Widerberg (8 June 1930 – 1 May 1997) was a Swedish film director, writer, editor and actor.


Early life

Widerberg was born in Malmö, Skåne län, Sweden.


Widerberg was the director of films such as Raven's End (1963), Elvira Madigan (1967), Ådalen 31 (1969), Joe Hill (1971), Fimpen (1974), The Man on the Roof (1976), Victoria (1979), The Man from Majorca (1984), The Serpent's Way (1986) and All Things Fair (1995). The Serpent's Way was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival[1] and in competition at the 15th Moscow International Film Festival.[2] In 1966 at the 3rd Guldbagge Awards his film Heja Roland! won the award for Best Film.[3]

Death and legacy

Widerberg died in Ängelholm, Sweden on 1 May 1997 of stomach cancer and was buried in the New Cemetery in Båstad. He had four children: Nina, Martin, Johan, and Matilda. Johan has become an actor and his son Martin became a director. As a child, Nina Widerberg played as in five of her father's films, including Barnvagnen and The Man on the Roof. Johan played Kollberg's son in The Man on the Roof.

In conjunction with the City Tunnel in Malmö, a small plaza around the southern entrance to the train, named Bo Widerberg place, was inaugurated in 2010. The site is located near Widerberg's former residence in Malmö.[4]

In 2011, the first doctoral dissertation on Bo Widerberg was published. The title of the thesis is "Bo Widerberg's TV theater" and was written by Niklas Persson Webjorn, who works at the University of Gothenburg's Department of Cultural Sciences. The book focuses primarily on how Bo Widerberg developed his unique directing style during his years as a director of TV theater in Swedish Television.


He won a Silver Bear prize at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival for All Things Fair and a Special Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Festival for Ådalen 31.[5] Raven's End,[6] Ådalen 31[7] and All Things Fair all received a nominations for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. For Ådalen 31 Widerberg won the Guldbagge Award for Best Director at the 6th Guldbagge Awards.[8] For The Man on the Roof he won the award for Best Film at the 13th Guldbagge Awards.[9]

Bo Widerberg c. 1960


Bo Widerberg's vision of Swedish cinema parted radically with its contemporary form. He called for a greater political significance and more progressive story telling. The leading figure of Swedish cinema at the time, Ingmar Bergman, was not Widerberg's ideal at all, although he recognized his position: "Neither I nor my friends saw very much in him. We didn't find the issue of God's existence that damned important. But it's safe to say you'd be putting yourself in a bad position if you're trying to slit the throat of the father figure before your own debut." In his book, A Vision of Swedish Cinema, Widerberg concluded that Bergman's films almost exclusively dealt with issues between people directed upwards and seldom sideways. According to Widerberg, Bergman made vertical films when the need for horizontal ones was more dire. On the other hand, Widerberg wanted film to be a tool of the social sciences, a kind of sociological report.

Selected filmography



  1. "Festival de Cannes: The Serpent's Way". Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  2. "15th Moscow International Film Festival (1987)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  3. "Heja Roland! (1966)". Swedish Film Institute. 27 February 2014.
  4. "Festival de Cannes: Ådalen 31". Retrieved 2009-04-05.
  5. "The 37th Academy Awards (1965) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-11-05.
  6. "The 42nd Academy Awards (1970) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  7. "Ådalen 31 (1969)". Swedish Film Institute. 2 March 2014.
  8. "Mannen på taket (1976)". Swedish Film Institute. 7 March 2014.
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