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The anti-Nazi who took the world by storm

Stieg Larsson – The man who played with the fire
Regissør: Henrik Georgsson

MATCH / After his death, Stieg Larsson became world famous for the crime trilogy about Lisbeth Salander, but his life was first and foremost marked by a tireless struggle to map and uncover the growing movement of neo-Nazism and fascism.

The point is carved in granite several
times during the documentary: Stieg Larsson worked himself to death. In the
sense ended the Nazis to whom he dedicated all his waking hours to
fight, by taking his life, as they had so often threatened to do.

Stieg Larsson – The Man Who Played With Fire documents one of Sweden's most significant anti-Nazi lives and works, an anti-Nazi who became world-renowned when his Millennium trilogy about the ill-mannered and crude Lisbeth Salander was published shortly after the author's premature death.


The documentary is composed of interviews with Stieg Larsson's life partner, Eva Gabrielsson, with former colleagues at TT Nyhetbyrån and on the anti-fascist media Exhibition, which Larsson co-founded, with former colleagues at the British anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, as well as childhood friends and neighbors in the remote Swedish countryside, where Stieg Larsson spent the first nine years of his life with his grandparents.

Larsson's grandfather was a communist and committed anti-Nazi, from whom Larsson learned much. Larsson himself became a (Trotskyist) communist, but the documentary about him bypasses this part of the story, and the only one mentioned by his and his grandfather's political orientering are polite and meaningless phrases about «wanting everyone to be equal». Instead, Larsson is portrayed as a "democrat" – what he naturally was, and a radical one of a kind (unlike most bourgeois democrats), but in the documentary's framework, it becomes a rather vague label.

Contradictions are blurred

Why has the director made such an effort to omit this part of Larsson's political legacy? Probably in an attempt to support the bestselling identity that has been created around Larsson after his death, an attempt that in no way honors the project that Larsson lived and died for, but instead erases all political contradictions of cynical. . .

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Nina Trige Andersen
Trige Andersen is a freelance journalist and historian.

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