The Most Beautiful Boy In the World
In 1970 reist Luchino Visconti door Europa op zoek naar de perfecte jongen om volmaakte schoonheid te belichamen in zijn filmbewerking van Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. In Stockholm ontdekt hij de Zweedse Björn Andrésen, een verlegen jongen van 15 die op slag internationaal beroemd wordt en een korte maar intense periode van zijn turbulente jeugd doorbrengt tussen het Lido in Venetië, Londen, het filmfestival in Cannes en het verre Japan. Vijftig jaar na de première van Death in Venice neemt Björn ons mee op een bijzondere reis langs persoonlijke herinneringen, filmgeschiedenis, magie en tragiek, in wellicht de laatste poging om eindelijk zijn leven weer op de rails te krijgen.
The year is 1970. The world-famous Italian director, Luchino Visconti is visiting Stockholm due to his new film Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann’s 1912 novel of the same name. He is looking for a young boy to play the role of Tadzio, a young polish noble. At this point, Visconti has traveled around the whole world and filmed hundreds of boys and finally, after a number of screen tests, fifteen-year-old Stockholmer Björn Andresen is given the part.
When the film premieres in London 1971, in the presence of Queen Elisabeth and princess Anne, Visconti declares the young Björn Andresen ”the most beautiful boy in the world”. A few months later whilst the film is competing in Cannes, Björn is discovered by a8 Japanese music agent and flown directly from the red carpet to Tokyo to become Japan’s first western icon with a career as a pop star, participating in tv-shows and commercials. But the nomination as ”the most beautiful boy in the world” became an epithet that has come to haunt him for the rest of his life. He became an icon all over the world, and just like his role figure Tadzio, the object for men who desire young boys.
Today, almost 50 years later, Björn is struggling with addiction and questions like why he never loved himself. He is also discovering the truth behind his mother’s disappearance and finding the clues to who his father is.
The Most Beautiful Boy in the World is a deeply personal and cinematic film about a person reconciling his past and taking control of his life. But it is also a unique look behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest film classics, Death in Venice, the structures of power and the cause of it, which recently has become known as #metoo.