2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Mario Tursi

Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri reveal the lasting impact of fame and objectification on a young male actor.

Festival Section:
World Cinema Documentary Competition


Sundance Program Description:

Björn Andrésen was 15 when he starred as Tadzio opposite Dirk Bogarde in Luchino Visconti’s adaptation of DEATH IN VENICE. A year later, during the film’s Cannes premiere, Visconti proclaimed Andrésen to be “the world’s most beautiful boy.” A comment that might have seemed flattering at the time became a burden that tainted Andrésen’s life.

Through a fascinating mix of archival footage and contemporary interactions with Andrésen, co-directors Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri explore the nature of overnight stardom and the objectification that sometimes comes with it. Andrésen, now in his 60s, bravely opens up about the irresponsible treatment he was subjected to and how the “curse of beauty” distorted his formative years. Being immortalized as an iconic boy meant that Andrésen spent most of his adult life trying to be invisible, refusing to have his identity shaped by a shallow fantasy about who he was. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD is a thoughtful and quietly devastating meditation on obsession, trauma, and the cost of fame.

Some Background:

Kristina Lindström
First Sundance credit. Lindström has been directing and producing documentaries for Swedish pubcaster SVT since 1994, following a decade producing for Swedish radio station, Sveriges Radio.

Kristian Petri
First Sundance credit. Petri’s past work has screened at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, Toronto, and Karlovy Vary.

Stina Gardell
First Sundance credit. CEO/producer, Mantaray Film. Gardell is a News & Documentary Emmy nominee, who directed radio and film documentaries for Swedish public broadcasters prior to founding her production company.

More Info:
Meet the Artist

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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