Sweden, France, Germany, Norway


Like modern times’ Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sam and Jonathan, two travelling salesmen peddling novelty items, take us on a kaleidoscopic wandering through human destinies. A trip that shows us the beauty of single moments, the pettiness of others, the humour and tragedy that is in us, life’s grandeur as well as frailty of humanity.

Director's Statement

Bruegel the Elder: Among his other Renaissance masterpieces, the sixteenth century Flemish artist painted an exquisite landscape entitled “Hunters in the Snow”. From a snowy hilltop overlooking a small Flemish town, we see villagers skating on a frozen lake in a valley. In the foreground, three hunters and their dogs return from a successful hunt. Above them, perched on the naked branches of a tree, three birds curiously observe the endeavours and pursuits of the people below.
Bruegel specialised in detailed landscapes populated by peasant and frequently adopted the sweeping perspective of a bird to tell a story of society and human existence. His oeuvre also contains fantastical allegories of man’s vices and follies, using flawless satire to express the tragic contradictions of being. In his painting, “Hunters in the Snow”, the birds appear to be speculating: “What are the humans doing down there? Why are they so busy?”
A PIGEON ON A BRANCH consists of a birds’s panoramic view of the human condition, in which the bird not only reflects on human existence but also worries deeply about it, as I do myself. The pigeon is astonished that humans do not see an approaching apocalypse, though it is in man’s ability to avoid destroying the future for themselves. A PIGEON ON A BRANCH shows the looming apocalypse and offers the possibility to believe in our capacity to avoid it.

Director's Biography

Born in Gothenburg in 1943. Trained as a film director at the Swedish Film Institute’s Film School in Stockholm at the end of the 1960s, Roy Andersson made his feature-length film debut in 1970 with A SWEDISH LOVE STORY, followed by GILIAP in 1975. After this, he made numerous award-winning advertising films and, in 1989, the unfinished AIDS film SOMETHING HAPPENED. In 1991 he started the Gothenburg Film Festival’s relay film project ‘90 minuter 90-tal’ with the short WORLD OF GLORY. He is the co-editor of the anthology “Successful Freezing of Mr. Moro” (1992), contributing editor of the exhibition “Sweden and the Holocaust” (since 2009), honorary doctor at the University of Gothenburg and honorary chairman of the Gothenburg International Film Festival (since 2009). With the multiple award-winning SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR (2000), Roy returned to the featurelength film format. The next film, YOU, THE LIVING, premiered in Cannes in 2007.

INTERVIEW with Roy Andersson

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Roy Andersson

Written by: Roy Andersson

Produced by: Pernilla Sandström

Cinematography: István Borbás, Gergely Pálos

Editing: Alexandra Strauss

Production Design: Ulf Jonsson, Julia Tegström, Nicklas Nilsson, Sandra Parment, Isabel Sjöstrand

Costume Design: Julia Tegström

Original Score: Hani Jazzar, Gorm Sundberg

Sound Design: Robert Hefter

Cast: Holger Andersson (Jonathan), Nils Westblom (Sam), Charlotta Larsson (Limping Lotta), Viktor Gyllenberg (King Charles XII), Lotti Törnros (the Flamenco teacher), Jonas Gerholm (the lieutenant colonel), Ola Stensson (the captain/hairdresser), Oscar Salomonsson (the Flamenco dancer), Roger Olsson Likvern (the caretaker)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Comedy 2015
  • European Screenwriter 2015
  • European Director 2015
  • European Film 2015
  • People's Choice Award 2015
  • Feature Film Selection 2015