A Song for Martin (En sång för Martin)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 – 7:30pm
Director: Bille August

Cast: Sven Wollter, Viveka Seldahl, Reine Brynolfsson, Linda Källgren, Lisa Werlinder

A Song for Martin tells the story of two people late in
life who find sudden, delirious love, and then lose it in one of the
most painful ways possible — to Alzheimer’s disease. Barbara (Viveka
Seldahl), a concert violinist, and Martin (Sven Wollter), a world-famous
conductor and composer, meet for the first time when both are
middle-aged and married to others. They fall profoundly in love and soon
divorce their spouses, marry, and settle down to a joyful shared life
and musical partnership. The signs of Martin’s Alzheimer’s disease are
at first isolated, but their progression is relentless. Director Bille
August (Pelle the Conqueror, The House of the Spirits)
charts, with harrowing candour and sensitivity, Martin’s increasing
confusion and isolation along with Barbara’s desperate struggle to
adjust to each sad new stage in his decline. But it is the sublime
performances of Wollter and Seldahl that are most remarkable here. Their
achievement is made even more poignant by the knowledge that the couple
were married in real life and that Seldahl died of cancer shortly after
the film was finished. “A work of deep compassion and lacerating
sadness” (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune). Colour, 35mm, in Swedish with English subtitles. 118 mins.

Post-screening discussion with Dr. Michael Wilkins-Ho,
a geriatric psychiatrist and consultant at Vancouver General Hospital
and Vancouver Community Older Adult Mental Health Services. Dr.
Wilkins-Ho is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the UBC Department
of Psychiatry.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.


“August … steers this story to its stirring conclusion with firm lack of sentimentality.”

Washington Post | full review

“More honest about Alzheimer’s disease, I think, than Iris.”

Chicago Sun-Times | full review