Arne Edvard Sucksdorff (3 February 1917, – 4 May 2001) was a Swedish film director, considered one of cinema's greatest documentary filmmakers. He was particularly celebrated for his visually poetic and scenic nature documentaries. His works include Pojken i trädet (The Boy in the Tree) and the Academy Award-winning Människor i Stad (Symphony of a City).

Arne Sucksdorff
Arne Edvard Sucksdorff

(1917-02-03)3 February 1917
Died4 May 2001(2001-05-04) (aged 84)
Stockholm, Sweden
OccupationFilm director
Years active1940-1972
Spouse(s)Alfhild Nordendahl
Astrid Bergman
(m. 1951⁠–⁠1964)

Maria Graca

Perhaps Sucksdorff's most widely admired work was the internationally acclaimed Det Stora Äventyret (1953) (The Great Adventure) about a year in the outdoors told in semidocumentary fashion from the viewpoint of a farmboy. It is noted for its remarkable photography and authentic scenes of nature, and its appeal to children for its story of domesticated otters. Sucksdorff also appeared as an actor in this film, portraying the father, while his real-life son is an actor as well.[1] The film won the International Prize at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival[2] and the Big Silver Medal (Documentaries and Culture Films) at the 4th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

In the early 1960s, Sucksdorff moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he taught cinema at the film school and continued making documentaries, as well as the documentary-style drama Mitt hem är Copacabana (My Home Is Copacabana), which is controversial due to Sucksdorff making up a back story as a street orphan for one of the main actors, a nine year old boy from Ipanema, whose daughter told the real story in a 2019 book[4]. The film was entered into the 1965 Cannes Film Festival[5] and the 4th Moscow International Film Festival.[6] Sucksdorff also won the award for Best Director at the 2nd Guldbagge Awards.[7] At the 29th Guldbagge Awards he won the Creative Achievement award.[8]

In later life, he became an outspoken critic of deforestation and a fervent environmentalist.

Sucksdorff's last film was the 1971 feature Cry of the Penguins (also titled Mr. Forbush and the Penguins), starring John Hurt and Hayley Mills.

He died of pneumonia in 2001 at his birthplace, Stockholm, Sweden.

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Arne Sucksdorff; Film-Maker Who Captured The Beauty Of Sweden." The Guardian (London) 22.(n.d.): LexisNexis Academic. Web. 1 May 2012
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Great Adventure". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  3. ^ "4th Berlin International Film Festival: Prize Winners". Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Bokrecension: Mångbottnad debut om ett hem på jorden". DN.SE (in Swedish). 2019-08-12. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  5. ^ "Festival de Cannes: My Home Is Copacabana". Festival de Cannes. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
  6. ^ "4th Moscow International Film Festival (1965)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  7. ^ "My Home Is Copacabana (1965)". Swedish Film Institute. 26 February 2014. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Arne Sucksdorff". Swedish Film Institute. 23 March 2014.

External linksEdit