Jan Troell b. 1931

Jan Troell was a Swedish film director and cinematographer who also made a number of internationally successful films, such as The Flight of an Eagle (Ingenjör Andrées luftfärd) in 1982.

2020.09.15 | Lars Gustaf Andersson

Photo of Jan Troell

Jan Troell on Stockholms Filmfestival 2012. Photo: Frankie Fouganthin, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Swedish film director and cinematographer Jan Troell was born in Malmö in 1931. His first feature film was Här har du ditt liv (1966) (Here’s Your Life), a personal adaptation of the autobiographical novels by the Swedish author Eyvind Johnson. His popular breakthrough came with the two films Utvandrarna (1971) (The Emigrants) and Nybyggarna (1972) (The New Land), based on novels by Vilhelm Moberg.

Troell then made some international productions but returned to Sweden to direct Ingenjör Andrées luftfärd (1982) (The Flight of the Eagle), a film about a Swedish explorer and his failed polar expedition, based on a novel by Per Olof Sundman.

Il Capitano (1991) (Il Capitano: A Swedish Requiem) deals with a case of manslaughter in northern Sweden, and Hamsun (1996) is a portrait of the Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun and his relationship to Nazi Germany. In Sagolandet (1988) (Land of dreams), Troell formulated a critical vision of modern Sweden.

Så vit som en snö (2001) (As White as in Snow) is a portrait of the pioneering female pilot Elsa Andersson, and Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick (2008) (Everlasting Moments) tells the story of a pioneering female photographer in the early twentieth century.

Further reading:

  • T. Soila, A. Söderbergh Widding, and G. Iversen, Nordic National Cinemas (London: Routledge, 1998).