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1:00   3:40   7:00   9:30

Must End Thursday, December 6


Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) is so beloved it is impossible to walk around Stockholm today without encountering her everywhere (she’s on the 20 kroner bill) or her best known creation, the red-haired wild child, Pippi Longstocking, eponymous heroine of the children’s book classic. BECOMING ASTRID traces the origins of the prolific author, feminist, and human rights advocate, played with verve by Alba August. Teenaged Astrid lives a conventional rural existence, circumscribed by farm chores, deadly Sunday sermons about Sodom and Gomorrah, and a controlling family. When she cuts off her braids, her mother calls her decision: “a one-way ticket to hell.” While working as a journalist work at a local newspaper, she becomes pregnant by her married editor. Astrid faces systematic cruelty and prejudice toward unwed mothers in 1920s Sweden, and unhappily leaves her son in Copenhagen with a kindly foster mother (Trine Dyrholm – seen at Film Forum recently in NICO, 1988). Things take a literary turn from there: Pippi Longstocking was so strong she could carry her pet horse onto the front porch. What sort of woman comes up that kind of heroine? Astrid Lindgren.


SWEDEN/DENMARK       2018       123 MINS            MUSIC BOX FILMS 


“Beautifully shot. Refreshingly candid. A sparkling performance from Alba August.”
– Kathryn Shattuck, The New York Times

Stars “impressive young lead Alba August”
– Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter

“A gorgeous piece of heritage filmmaking. The young life of the Swedish writer… who would go on to worldwide fame as Astrid Lindgren, one of the most beloved children’s authors ever. With a vibrant performance from fresh-faced Alba August as the lead. Fascinating detail about the complications of bearing a child outside of wedlock in Sweden in the 1920s and further proves how brave and radical Astrid was. Christensen takes to period filmmaking like a duck to water, and brings to it an uncommon energy. (With) dynamic widescreen lensing full of visual interest (that) matches the sweep of the lush string score.”
– Alissa Simon, Variety

"Heartfelt... a beguiling performance from Alba August."
– Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

Film Forum