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Jan Troell makes 'The Last Sentence' on Swedish journalist Torgny Segerstedt

Pernilla August and Jesper Christensen in 'The Last Sentence'
Pernilla August and Jesper Christensen in 'The Last Sentence'
Courtesy of Landmark Theatres, used with permission

The Last Sentence

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The Last Sentence (Dom over död man, Sweden 2012) opens in San Francisco at the Landmark Theatres on July 11. Swedish filmmaker Jan Troell has put to film a story about the Swedish journalist Torgny Segerstedt (played by Danish actor Jesper Christensen), based on a best seller by Kenne Fant. Troell said in an interview in October with Movie Magazine International San Francisco at the Mill Valley Film Festival that Fant wanted him to make the film and “made him an offer he couldn’t refuse”.

The film takes place during the Second World War and Troell uses documentary footage of Hitler and the war in this black and white historical feature. Segerstedt wrote strongly against the Nazi party and alerted his readers to the growing fascism in Europe. He also had the attention of German readers, officials such as Göring and even Hitler as a high-ranking journalist for "Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfartstidning", a Swedish shipping trade paper in Gothenburg. He was told by the Swedish government to stop criticising Hitler in order to avoid the country being invaded. Swedish neutrality has historically been questioned such as when German soldiers were allowed free passage through the country to Norway. Segerstedt was an historical figure that was a major personality working against this duplicity.

Segerstedt also had influence over many political figures, particularly the Swedish Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson who helped to create the foundations for the modern welfare state in Sweden. Segerstedt was also a notorious womanizer, who neglected his wife and whose mistress (played by Pernilla August) was the wife of his editor.

"The Last Sentence" is a skillfully made film by one of Sweden’s best filmmakers, depicting a little known history from Sweden during World War II.