The Director

Compelling and breathtakingly original, The Director mixes biographical fact with a wild kaleidoscopic imagination to reveal the boy and the man behind the great film-maker.

The Director is Ingmar Bergman; the time is 1961; and the setting is the shooting of Winter Light, a film about how his life would have been if he had heeded his father’s wishes and become a priest. Gradually the visionary film-maker shapes the story on the screen, but the project is unpopular, money is short, the light is poor, and Bergman’s sense of reality begins to crack.

This work of fiction, steeped in fact, is written in pared-down language that calls on the translator constantly to deconstruct the text and piece it back together. It is like translating poetry or an extended prose poem.

Longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Award. Shortlisted for the Weidenfeld Prize.