Stig Dagerman in Paris 1947: Mood, Myth and Manhood
The Making of a Man (48 min, 2019) explores courage, cowardice and toxic masculinity across time and place (postwar France, Sweden and contemporary USA). Its point of departure is a play by Swedish writer Stig Dagerman, set in Paris reeling in the aftermath of Nazi occupation. Told through dramatization, archival footage and interviews, the film is propelled by the interconnected stories of four young men: the playwright; the refugee who inspires him; the bullied character he creates; and the American actor (whose brother returned broken from Afghanistan) who channels him in the 2017 off-Broadway premiere. All facing the same challenge: What happens when pressure mounts?
Post-screening Q&A with Dagerman's daughter and filmmaker Lo Dagerman and French historian Professor Herrick Chapman.
Stig Dagerman (1923-1954) is in France best known for his essay Notre besoin de consolation est impossible à rassassier (translation by Philippe Bouquet). It has been performed by many artists like Têtes raides, and most recently by Deleyaman and Fanny Ardant at La Maison de la poésie in Paris. Dagerman is internationally best known for Automne allemand/German Autumn, his classic travelogue from Germany in 1946.
Lo Dagerman is a producer, translator, writer, and filmmaker dedicated to bringing the oeuvre of Stig Dagerman to new audiences. An immigrant to the United States with two American sons, she is Dagerman's daughter in his marriage to actress Anita Björk. Lo was screenwriter and producer on Dan Levy Dagerman's Our Need for Consolation (2012) featuring Stellan Skarsgård, and Marty’s Shadow (2019) starring Jimi Stanton. The Making of a Man (2019) is her directorial debut. Lo co-wrote The Writer and the Refugee with American writer Nancy Pick, where they uncover the mystery of who in Paris inspired Stig Dagerman’s Marty’s Shadow. In France published as Les Ombres de Stig Dagerman (Éditions Maurice Nadeau, 2018, translation by Philippe Bouquet).
Herrick Chapman is Emeritus Professor of History and French Studies at New York University. A modern European historian, he works mainly on the social, economic, and political history of twentieth-century France. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including most recently France's Long Reconstruction: In Search of the Modern Republic (Harvard University Press, 2018).
The movie will be available for viewing on our website event from March 8 to March 11.
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