Screened as part of NZIFF 2021

The Most Beautiful Boy in the World 2021

Världens vackraste pojke

Directed by Kristian Petri, Kristina Lindström

As Tadzio in Death in Venice, Björn Andrésen electrified audiences worldwide with his fragile beauty. Fifty years later, his life is still haunted by the fallout from the role that made him recognised, and coveted, across the globe.

Sweden In English, French, Japanese and Swedish with English subtitles
99 minutes DCP


Björn Andrésen
Annike Andresen
Silva Filmer
Riyoko Ikeda
Margareta Krantz
Ann Lagerström


Stina Gardell


Erik Vallsten


Dino Jonsäter
Hanna Lejonqvist


Filip Leyman
Anna Von Hausswolff


Hot Docs
CPH:DOX 2021


London, 1971. Luchino Visconti premieres Death in Venice and introduces his young star, teenager Björn Andrésen, as “the most beautiful boy in the world”. Half a century later, living in squalor and on the verge of eviction, Andrésen’s youthful beauty is barely recognisable, but the vulnerability that made him a compelling screen presence and worldwide star remains overwhelming.

While The Most Beautiful Boy in the World paints an unflattering portrait of Visconti’s treatment of Andrésen, it also tells the story of a talented but troubled boy whose trauma began long before Visconti – and whose exploitation continued long after Venice left cinemas. From Japan, where he became a pop idol, to Paris, where a string of men took interest in the “beautiful boy”, Andrésen revisits the sites of his tragedy-filled life.

Filmed with grace and intimacy, and aided by a wealth of Super 8 behind-the-scenes footage of his youth, directors Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri dodge sensationalism as Andrésen – most recently seen in an unforgettable, stomach-churning cameo in Midsommar (NZIFF 2019) – struggles with the burdens of his past. — Doug Dillaman

“Andrésen’s fraught past and complicated present merge into a single portrait of a man exposed to unimaginable grief and pain, so much of it care of a society that blithely consumes its most gentle citizens.” — Kate Erbland, Indiewire