Live Till I Die is a documentary film that explores what it means to live life to the fullest in the final years of ones life. With humour, candour, and dignity, LIVE TILL I DIE embraces the ups and downs of aging, care and care work in late life. At Kyrkbyn, an elderly home in the outskirts of Stockholm, many of the residents will soon turn 100 years old. In wheelchairs or with very limited mobility, many didn’t even know the names of their neighbors until an activity coach was hired to break this solitude. Without nursing education, but with loads of personality and ideas, Monica reawakens their youthful spirits, turning the residents into a playful gang always at the ready to crack an unexpected joke, participate in spa sessions, boxing lessons, and themed dinners.
Ella, a 99-year-old gracious and cheerful lady who doesn’t have any close family, develops a significantly strong connection to Monica. When Ella must have her leg amputated and her health worsens, Monica organizes a big celebration for her 100th birthday and takes her back to the village where she grew up. Though rewarding, this journey becomes an emotional marathon for Monica who needs to face her fear of losing the people around her.
BOOK A SCREENING
Full of humour, compassion and joy, Live Till I Die strikes a tender chord DOXA
close and striking, but always respectful sydsvenskan
UNIQUE AND VERY WARMING göteborgsposten
EVERYONE SHOULD SEE IT Kulturbloggen
impossible to not get engaged Dagens nyheter
This very watchable documentary is a reminder that the very elders are not different from any of us sveriges radio
Gustav Ågerstrand, director
We wanted to make a visually strong, deep, and emotional film that speaks to an international audience. With humor and genuine characters, this filterless story can cross the borders of the Swedish language and culture to touch the universal human need to live a meaningful life — for our entire lives.
Humanity is undergoing a major demographic change. Today, the world’s average life expectancy has increased to 72 years. In the industrialized world – such as the Scandinavian countries – studies show an even higher average of 81 years. We may live longer, but what will old age look like and feel in this new context?
In the coming years, there will be a severe shortage of caregivers in Sweden, a deficit of up to 150 000 qualified personnel. The rest of Europe and the western world are in the same situation, and many will ask the same question as us: Who will take care of our parents? And us when we grow old?
We have seen a lot of happiness and zest for life in the management of elderly care, and met staff who are fantastically dedicated and creative. But we have also seen deficiencies that affect both residents and staff. We want to inspire elderly care to be even better. In making this film, we were looking for a place where the elderly live a modern, vibrant and joyful life despite the pain, anxiety and fear that comes with approaching the end. And we found it with Monica and Kyrkbyn.
We believe that staff with a humane approach to their work is key, something that Monica exemplifies. Together with the residents, she faces the difficulties of aging while always celebrating life.
The film holds many strong emotions and speaks to a global audience. With the power of humor and several strong characters, we touch on the deep human need to live a meaningful life.
live till i die
Film:LIVE TILL I DIE Length: 73 minutes Language: Swedish Subtitles: Swedish, English Year: 2022 Premiere: Sweden September 30th 2022
Film: LIVE TILL I DIE Length: 58 minutes Language: Swedish Subtitles: Swedish, English Year: 2022 Premiere: Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and New Zeeland in 2023
Film: LIVE TILL I DIE Length: 23 minutes Language: Swedish Subtitles: Swedish, English Year: 2022 Premiere: Soon in festivals
Film: LIVE TILL I DIE – Short Documentaries from Elderly Homes Length: 6 to 14 minutes Language: Swedish Subtitles: Swedish Year: 2022 Premiere: UR Play in May 2022 for schools and universities in Sweden
LIVE TILL I DIE is a production by Film and Tell. The film is a co-production between Sweden and Switzerland, co-producer TRIPLE Entertainmen, and with support from Film Stockholm. Impact distribution by Diakonhjemmet, SBB Sweden, Ersta Diakoni, Tre Stiftelser, GoesArt and Appva.
Gustav Ågerstrand received an Honorary mention at Tempo Festival, in New Doc, for the film Tjuvgods (2013). He was filmography for The wind bloweth as it listeth (2016) which won Lune d’Or at 7ème Lune Renne and was nominated to Best Film at Mostra Film Festival, Sao Paulo.
Åsa Ekman's film A Mother's comeback (2011) won Best Swedish Film at Gothenburg International Film Festival. Other films by Ekman are Dragkingom of Sweden (2002) and It's all about Edith (2006), of which the latter received an Honorary mention at Tempo Festival.
Oscar Hedin Hetteberg founded Film and Tell. His film A National Team Without a Nation (2005) won the Golden Palm at the Beverly Hills Films Festival. Aching Heart (2007) was nominated to a Guldbagge, Prix Europa as well as Ikaros, and won the Amulet. Several of his productions has changed laws and led to verdicts, investigations, reassignments and honorary mentions.
Anders Teigen won Best Nordic Documentary with his film Big John (2008) at Nordic Panorama. He was nominated to an Amanda for Best Editing and won an Guldbagge for Best Documentary with his film The Armwrestler from Solitude (2004).
LIVE TILL I DIE is being directed by a collective of four directors: Gustav Ågerstrand, Åsa Ekman, Oscar Hedin Hetteberg, and Anders Teigen. This approach is based on their past work experience together and personal connection to the topic. Oscar Hedin, Åsa Ekman and Anders Teigen worked together in a similar way on the Film and Tell productions My life my lesson (2014) and Say Something (2015) which premiered at IDFA. The two films has been a foundation for the Film and Tell initiative SEE THE CHILDREN, which amongst other things delivered workshops for 25 000 people and been the strongest motive power in making Sweden the first European country to pass the new law – the Child Protection Act. Oscar Hedin, Åsa Ekman, and Gustav Ågerstrand worked together on the Film and Tell production The Good Country (2018),a documentary series about Swedish integration. The series was nominated to a Kristallen for Best Documentary.
Like many, we have had parents and relatives in retirement homes. We have seen many beautiful examples, but also some less beautiful ones. With this film, we wanted to explore and challenge the image of elderly care, so we looked for a place where the elderly live a vibrant and fun life despite the scary fact that the end is around the corner.
We believe that staff with a humane approach to their work is key. Monica and the residents at Sköndal are the perfect characters to lead us through this journey. Dealing with the hardships of aging, they continue to celebrate life. We wanted to make a visually strong, deep, and emotional film that speaks to an international audience. With humor and genuine characters, this filterless story can cross the borders of the Swedish language and culture to touch the universal human need to live a meaningful life — for our entire lives.
LIVE TILL I DIE is a cinema vérité film. It tells of attempts to reconcile with life coming to an end, and does it with humor, warmth and pride. The film challenges our image of what elderly care is, and can be. Through a handheld camera, we follow the characters in a candid manner, getting a proximity that allows the viewers to immerse themselves in the characters’ emotions as scenes unfold in real time. The warmth of the characters informs the color palette dominated by soft shades of pink and orange, colors Ella and Monica wear.
We capture contrasting dynamics: While watching Monica’s confident gestures and jokes, we also see her careful caress over a wrinkled face, or how her silent tears fall. The entire movie is composed of scenes in the form of classic drama with Monica as the main character. How Monica is confronted by the imminence of death and loss is reflected in her fragile relationship with 99-year-old Ella. Central is Monica's bond with the elderly, where humor, whether situational or ironic, becomes the strongest weapon against the pain.
With this film, we reflect on an increasing life expectancy and the problems of care for our grandparents. We live longer. Many people will be asking the same questions we do: Who will care for our parents, and us when we grow old? How will we experience living longer in the modern fast-paced society? How will society perceive the elderly? These questions become even more urgent during the Covid-19 pandemic.
BOOK A SCREENING OR WORKSHOP
We want to question the public image of elderly care. LIVE TILL I DIE exists in several lengths and versions to be used in workshops or screenings with discussions. Themes could be quality of life, professions in proximity to death, activities and activation, working conditions, or something completely different. We tailor according to your needs and conditions. Interested? Fill in this form, and we'll get in touch!
BOOK A SCREENING OR WORKSHOP
film and tell
Film and Tell is a documentary film company that drives positive measurable social change. We do high-quality documentary films, extensive outreach, and fact-based advocacy. Our aim is to work for a better world.
We are inspired by colleagues in the genre of films for social change but have developed our own unique way of working, a method we call Real Stories. Real Change.
We seek to collaborate with every actor that wants to address and solve the societal needs and challenges of our times. Today, we partner with organizations, companies, authorities, and individuals, as well as film industry entities and broadcasters.