You, The Living (Du Levande)




Only the sixth feature of his decorated 40-year fi lm career, Songs From the Second Floor director Andersson’s latest was Sweden’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

His unfl inching on-how-you-liveyour-life kaleidoscope tracks an assemblage of unhappy city dwellers through a bizarre and beautiful series of misadventures. “Inspired by a quotation from Goethe, You, the Living converts his living tableaux into fragments of a philosophical inquiry addressing existential strife in an oblique and surreal fashion.

Andersson describes this highly subjective and darkly witty series of 50 portraits of the human race at our present moment in history as a ‘mosaic of human destinies’ on the theme of ‘how to behave around others’ …Andersson’s intense empathy is at the core of it all, no matter how outrageous or somber the situations, no matter how grey his distinctive palette…a triumph of tragicomedy from one of the cinema’s most sardonic imaginations.” —Swedish Film Institute From an irritated neighbor waging war on the tuba player upstairs to a bartender berating the riff-raff who keep him in business to one barber’s startling campaign against racism, Andersson, 63, straddles the line between tragedy and hilarity with a deftness few directors can muster.

“Austere, ingenious, hilarious and miserable.”
— Eye Weekly Toronto


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