Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. Sweden, 1967. Europa Film. Directed by Bo Widerberg. Screenplay by Bo Widerberg. Cinematography by Jorgen Persson. Produced by Waldemar Bergendahl, Peter Fernandez. Film Editing by Bo Widerberg. Cannes Film Festival 1967. Golden Globe Awards 1967.
A simple story of a tragic love affair is told with affection and beauty in this lovingly photographed drama. A 19th century Swedish soldier leaves his post and his wife to run away with the love of his life, a gorgeous circus tightrope artist named Elvira Madigan (though it’s not her real name). They hide out in the forest while the law searches for them, doing their best to make the most of the limited time they know they have left. The lush, almost enchanted woods that they inhabit are a third character in this sumptuous film by Bo Widerberg, with gorgeous cinematography bringing all the passion out of the characters and their irresistible attraction for each other. Not a milestone of a film, but lovely all the same.