Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

The Socialist, the Architect and the Twisted Tower 2005

Sossen, arkitekten och det skruvade huset

Directed by Fredrik Gertten

The battle between the fervent architect Santiago Calatrava and the solid bureaucrats who oppose the construction of his visionary "Turning Torso" apartment building in Malmö, Sweden.

Sweden In Swedish with English subtitles
59 minutes DigiBeta



Ulf Södergren
Erik Bäfving


Marie-Louise Bordinggaard
Olivier Bugge Coutté


Cecilia Nordlund
Krister Jonsson


Adelaide 2007


The socialist is Johnny Örbäck, a former social democrat politician who is now the CEO of a Swedish co-operative housing company. The architect is Santiago Calatrava, one of the world’s leading architects, with commissions ranging from the New York Museum of Modern Art to the Athens Olympic complex. And the twisted tower is the “Turning Torso” building in Malmö, Sweden, a daringly experimental apartment tower based on the concept of the human body in motion. But not everybody is thrilled with the construction of what they regard as a ’showpiece for the rich’. The filmmaker was behind the scenes for five years and has captured a classic clash of visionary fervour (and cost over-runs) vs conservative indignation (and fiscal accountability). It’s a very even-handed film, but Calatrava in a corner is much more engaging than his stolid blonde adversaries. In the middle stands Örbäck, a most unassuming hero putting his own reputation at risk. “If this project is in trouble. I’m in trouble!”