Swedish UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld will be brought to life again in Danish director Per Fly’s The Killing of Hammarskjöld, announced yesterday at Swedish regional film centre Film i Väst’s press conference at the Cannes International Film Festival.
The Swedish diplomat’s death will be described in Irish director Richie Smyth’s upcoming war thriller Jadotville, starring Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt (see the news), set during the post-war scramble for power between the East and the West. Award-winning Swedish scriptwriter Ulf Ryberg’s screenplay follows him on his path to the most difficult job in the world at the United Nations, all the way to the aftermath of his death in the unexplained plane crash during the Congo crisis in 1961.
“His name is luminous among people who devoted their life to world peace and freedom in the post-war era. We are very proud co-producers of a film that the whole world is waiting for,” said Film i Väst CEO Tomas Eskilsson in Cannes. The producers of the film, which will shoot in 2017, are Patrick Ryborn, of Eyeworks Scandinavia, and Malene Blenkov, of Creative Alliance, with Nordisk Film and Film i Väst. The executive producers are Lone Korslund, Poa Strömberg and Eskilsson.
Hammarskjöld was killed on 18 September 1961, en route to ceasefire negotiations in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), when his plane crashed near Ndola. The Douglas DC-6 was not found until 15 hours after the accident; new theories suggest it was shot down. Last year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon supported a new examination of the case, owing to the discovery of secret documents from the US monitoring service the NSA.