Swedish UN Secretary-General brought to life again in new film
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- CANNES 2015: Per Fly’s The Killing of Hammarskjöld follows the Swedish diplomat's life – from his journey to the top post to the aftermath of his death in a plane crash
Swedish UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld will be brought to life again in Danish director Per Fly’s The Killing of Hammarskjöld, announced yesterday at Swedish regional film centre Film i Väst’s press conference at the Cannes International Film Festival.
The Swedish diplomat’s death will be described in Irish director Richie Smyth’s upcoming war thriller Jadotville [+see also:
film profile], starring Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt (see the news), set during the post-war scramble for power between the East and the West. Award-winning Swedish scriptwriter Ulf Ryberg’s screenplay follows him on his path to the most difficult job in the world at the United Nations, all the way to the aftermath of his death in the unexplained plane crash during the Congo crisis in 1961.
“Hammarskjöld belongs among the prominent leaders in our history who lost their lives in their pursuit of freedom and their desire to make a difference in the world. We want to capture the real Dag Hammarskjöld, a truth-loving person placed in an impossible situation bordered by violence and deceit,” explained Fly. Following the Danish DR TV drama series Follow the Money, Fly is returning to Sweden, where he most recently directed Waltz for Monica [+see also:
interview: Edda Magnason
interview: Per Fly
film profile] (2013), the biopic of Swedish singer-actress Monica Zetterlund.
“His name is luminous among people who devoted their life to world peace and freedom in the post-war era. We are very proud co-producers of a film that the whole world is waiting for,” said Film i Väst CEO Tomas Eskilsson in Cannes. The producers of the film, which will shoot in 2017, are Patrick Ryborn, of Eyeworks Scandinavia, and Malene Blenkov, of Creative Alliance, with Nordisk Film and Film i Väst. The executive producers are Lone Korslund, Poa Strömberg and Eskilsson.
Hammarskjöld was killed on 18 September 1961, en route to ceasefire negotiations in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), when his plane crashed near Ndola. The Douglas DC-6 was not found until 15 hours after the accident; new theories suggest it was shot down. Last year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon supported a new examination of the case, owing to the discovery of secret documents from the US monitoring service the NSA.