The Long Journey

SF Film
A film about Ilon Wikland – artist and illustrator of children's books. For many generations of young Swedish readers it’s impossible to imagine reading an Astrid Lindgren book without its accompanying illustration by Ilon Wikland. Her sweeping, enchanting illustrations are as integral to Lindgren’s books as Tenniel’s haunting engravings are to Alice in Wonderland. But of course the life of every artist is a long journey and there was far more to Wikland’s life and work than that. This fascinating documentary reveals many of the finely etched shadows that underpinned her seemingly innocent illustrations. Born in Tartu, Estonia in 1930, during the Soviet invasion of 1944 the young Wikland was forced to flee: a homeless, parentless refugee, across the Baltic and into the arms of art, in the shape of her aunt. Recognizing her young niece’s talent for drawing she managed to win her a place at art school. With four daughters and a naval husband often away from home, the 21-year-old Wikland threw herself into her drawing, eventually plucking up the courage to approach publishers Rabén & Sjögren, where Astrid Lindgren, one of the editors, was looking for an illustrator for her classic Mio my Mio. The rest is history. After a partnership spanning 40 years Wikland finally began creating her books, inevitably turning first to the turbulent, vivid experiences of her own childhood. The result, the eponymous The Long Journey, is the harrowing story of her abandonment by her parents in war torn Estonia. Both book and film are moving testimony to the long journey that is every artist’s life: the journey to reconciliation, the long journey to hope.

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The Long Journey

Title The Long Journey

Original title Den Långa, Långa Resan

Director Christer Furubrand

Country Sweden

Film status Completed

Original language Swedish

Producer Waldemar Bergendahl

Release 1970 Jan, 01

Duration 58 min

A film about Ilon Wikland – artist and illustrator of children's books. For many generations of young Swedish readers it’s impossible to imagine reading an Astrid Lindgren book without its accompanying illustration by Ilon Wikland. Her sweeping, enchanting illustrations are as integral to Lindgren’s books as Tenniel’s haunting engravings are to Alice in Wonderland. But of course the life of every artist is a long journey and there was far more to Wikland’s life and work than that. This fascinating documentary reveals many of the finely etched shadows that underpinned her seemingly innocent illustrations. Born in Tartu, Estonia in 1930, during the Soviet invasion of 1944 the young Wikland was forced to flee: a homeless, parentless refugee, across the Baltic and into the arms of art, in the shape of her aunt. Recognizing her young niece’s talent for drawing she managed to win her a place at art school. With four daughters and a naval husband often away from home, the 21-year-old Wikland threw herself into her drawing, eventually plucking up the courage to approach publishers Rabén & Sjögren, where Astrid Lindgren, one of the editors, was looking for an illustrator for her classic Mio my Mio. The rest is history. After a partnership spanning 40 years Wikland finally began creating her books, inevitably turning first to the turbulent, vivid experiences of her own childhood. The result, the eponymous The Long Journey, is the harrowing story of her abandonment by her parents in war torn Estonia. Both book and film are moving testimony to the long journey that is every artist’s life: the journey to reconciliation, the long journey to hope. A film about Ilon Wikland – artist and illustrator of children's books. For many generations of young Swedish readers it’s impossible to imagine reading an Astrid Lindgren book without its accompanying illustration by Ilon Wikland. Her sweeping, enchanting illustrations are as integral to Lindgren’s books as Tenniel’s haunting engravings are to Alice in Wonderland. But of course the life of every artist is a long journey and there was far more to Wikland’s life and work than that. This fascinating documentary reveals many of the finely etched shadows that underpinned her seemingly innocent illustrations. Born in Tartu, Estonia in 1930, during the Soviet invasion of 1944 the young Wikland was forced to flee: a homeless, parentless refugee, across the Baltic and into the arms of art, in the shape of her aunt. Recognizing her young niece’s talent for drawing she managed to win her a place at art school. With four daughters and a naval husband often away from home, the 21-year-old Wikland threw herself into her drawing, eventually plucking up the courage to approach publishers Rabén & Sjögren, where Astrid Lindgren, one of the editors, was looking for an illustrator for her classic Mio my Mio. The rest is history. After a partnership spanning 40 years Wikland finally began creating her books, inevitably turning first to the turbulent, vivid experiences of her own childhood. The result, the eponymous The Long Journey, is the harrowing story of her abandonment by her parents in war torn Estonia. Both book and film are moving testimony to the long journey that is every artist’s life: the journey to reconciliation, the long journey to hope.

Title The Long Journey

Original title Den Långa, Långa Resan

Director Christer Furubrand

Country Sweden

Film status Completed

Original language Swedish

Producer Waldemar Bergendahl

Release Text here will replace normal release date

Duration 58 min

Genre Documentary






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