- Director: Kristina Lindström; Kristian Petri
- Writer: Kristina Lindström; Kristian Petri
- Producer: Stina Gardell
Beauty - most definitely - is in the eye of the beholder. In this case, beholders.
For many, he was the most beautiful - especially in Japan. For others, he was a pretty boy, when photographed well.
But...where do you go from being called the most beautiful boy in the world? Rather than it being a downward slope...it would seem that Mr Andresen went on a bit of a mismanaged rollercoaster ride...with all the inherent ups and downs. This part of his story has pieces missing...understandably so, if you can read between the lines.
The film opens with the impending eviction from his squalid apartment...signalling that this is not one of those rags-to-riches stories. Three extreme events have shaped and punctuated this man's life...the death of his mother, being cast in Death in Venice...and, the death of his son.
What follows is an atmospheric and emotional catharsis...
The controversies surrounding child exploitation are luminous. His grandmother, celebrity-by-proxy. Visconti, who 'owned' him for 3 years after the film was released [mentioned, but...with very little detail]. There is no mention of sexual abuse...but, again, reading between the lines...being paraded around [like a trophy] and financed by a wealthy gay man...difficult to imagine that this trophy was just admired...from a distance.
Ultimately, this is the story of a winsome boy who grew into a sensitive man..his demons have been placated [in part] by his faith and his truth...
Had he never made Death in Venice...the world, quite probably, would never have heard of Björn Andrésen - and, even if it sounds like a cruel question, it still remains a question that should have been asked...but, wasn't: Given the choice, would you have made the film - knowing now what you didn't know then?
Interesting to know...but, with so many cards being kept close the this film's chest, we will never know.
Swedish actor/musician Björn Andresen’s life was forever changed at the age of 15, when he played Tadzio, the object of Dirk Bogarde’s obsession in Death in Venice – a role which led Italian maestro Luchino Visconti to dub him “the world’s most beautiful boy.”