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Natten den 19 november
Margaretha Åsberg

This film is clearly the work of a dancer and choreographer. It is not only a highly beautiful and ambiguous film, but it is very precisely and logically constructed in its interplay between text, images and music. The music is that of the historical main character of the film, Carl Jonas Love Almqvist (1793-1866). Almqvist was a Moravian, Swedenborgian, environmentalist, teacher, mystic and rationalist, among other things. The Night of November 19 is based on Almqvist’s writings, among them The Night of the Poet, The Tale of an Unhappy Man, My Story and The Queen’s Jewel. It tells of a night in the life of the poet – the night takes him through dream images to personal insights, a refusal to accomodate himself to the lies of society and the realization that this will make him “impossible” as a person. A person who has to live the life of the impossible, the art of the impossible. Almqvist, here portrayed by American composer Charlemagne Palestine, is himself searching for something, lured into a forest of scents and voices. Almqvist’s dependence on Swedish nature is a main premise of the film. Åsberg shows Almqvist’s unique blend of feeling for nature and theatricality – the link between a Swedish summer meadow and the staircases of the operatic set. In this way she recreates the uniqueness of Almqvist’s romanticism: the blend of ecstacy and compassion.

English title The Night of November 19
Aspect ratio 1.37:1 (Academy)
Prod. format Generic film
Duration 00:35:00
Language Swedish
Color Color
Year 1978
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About the artist

Margaretha Åsberg

Born in 1939. Choreographer and dancer with her own company, Pyramids. Lives and works in Stockholm.