Biography of Bille August (1948-VVVV)

Director of Swedish cinema, born in Stockholm in 1948.


The first approach of August image was due to his studies of commercial photography in Stockholm, in the famous school of Christer Stroholm, studies completed at the Danish Film Institute. From this knowledge opens at the cinema as director of photography, work which will exert in Sweden over one dozen films in the cinema and television, which include Manrape and The Grass is Singing.

In 1978 directed her first film In my Life, and then spends a long time away from the cinema. Their second album would be a short film titled Kim G, before moving on to television. There would be The world is so big, so big, May, Three days with Magnus and the Buster s World Series, which would be awarded in Belgium and whose success August would later edit several chapters to convert them into a feature film. In 1983 he/she directed Zappa, film that begins his collaboration with producer Per Holst. This work was declared best film of the year at the London Film Festival and a year following Holst collaborated again with August in Twist and Shout, which won the award for best Danish film of the year, the special prize of the jury of the Festival of Lyon and the prize for Best Actor at the Moscow Festival.

In 1987, August sees fulfilled his dream of bringing to the screen the novel by Martin Andersen Nexo, Pelle, the conqueror. But Holst worked again with him in a production process that lasted three years and with the participation of a thousand people. The reward was the Palme d'Or to the best film at the Cannes Festival, the Golden Globe for best foreign film and a nomination to the Oscar as best foreign film in 1988.

In 1992, the best intentions get the Oscar for best foreign film, allowing you to have production and a large international cast for the adaptation of the novel by Isabel Allende, the House of the spirits. The history of the Trueba family over three generations feeds on the characteristics of a blockbuster, but benefits from the personal treatment that August gives his characters. In 1996 opens Jerusalem, the history of Gertrud and Ingmar, a love couple who at the beginning of the 20th century affected by a wave of religious fervor which extends for his country and that makes them want to embark on a journey to Jerusalem; It is a sober look at the faith and piety in a dramatic context in which the characters develop in depth. Despite the era in which it is set, its theme remains current in a time in which religious groups are multiplied with ease. To address the behavior of religious extremist may be, August raises two points of view: the rational, embodied by Ingmar, and the passionate, that wields Gertrud. Based on the novels written by Selma Lagerlöff between 1901 and 1902, Jerusalem deals with actual facts which were already mentioned in a television series. In 1997 he/she releases another adaptation, Smila, mystery in the snow, which returns to Northern Europe as a backdrop and reveals the ability of August to combine a history of intrigue with the deepest needs of a human being, the essence that makes different men together and some stand out from the rest. Smilla (Julia Ormond) has a sense of the snow, the ice, which makes it special. A woman not adapted to urban life, which it shares with August fascination - or rather, the vital need - for open spaces.

His next work used back to literature, this time to the French classic by Victor Hugo, Les Misérables. August has an all-star cast to narrate the story of Jean Valjean and Fantine.


1977: Hemat i natten (and director of photography). 1978: Honning mane (and screenplay and photography); Man kan inte valdtas (and photography). 1980: Kärleken (and director of photography). 1982: Graset sjunger (and director of photography). 1983: Zappa (and screenplay). 1984: Tro, hab og kærlighed (and screenplay). 1987: Pelle, the conqueror. 1991: The best intentions (TV series). 1992: the best intenciones.1993: the House of the spirits (and screenplay). 1996: Jerusalem (and director of photography). 1997: Smilla; Les miserables.