Elvira Madigan 1967
In 1859, a Swedish army lieutenant, Count Sixten Sparre...
and a Danish tightrope walker, Elvira Madigan, alias Hedvig Jensen...
shot themseIves in a forest in Denmark.
This film is their story.
What is it, Sixten?
A bee! Got me in the behind!
I won't be able to sit down, ever! Never in my whole life!
Come, let me blow on it.
Captain! First troop, as ordered!
Captain, second troop, as ordered!
Where is Lieutenant Sparre?
Are you happy?
Are you happy?
I'm happy, Sixten. I'm so happy.
I can hardly believe that I dared to escape.
I was always brave on the wire, but nothing but a coward on the ground.
Where the hell's Elvira?
Without her, they'll want their money back.
Let them search for me. Even I hardly recognize myself.
Hold the mirror for me.
Call me Hedvig. That's my real name.
Dear, sweet Hedvig.
See the bear? Like those trick pictures.
- Not a bear. It's a rabbit. - It's a bear. Can't you see?
- Rabbit! - Bear!
What is it?
Feel for yourself.
Just imagine it: News report-- "Missing: Lieutenant Sixten Sparre.
Description: Half a beard.
Has never been seen sitting down, and never will."
Do you love me?
You gave me back my name.
Before you, I had to be both Hedvig and Elvira.
I know who I am now.
First, we have to buy civilian buttons for your jacket.
How much money do we have?
Don't worry. We'll manage.
- How much? - Eighteen million...
and 11 farthings.
A gift. You have more use for it.
- How elegant. - You see, I'm a civilian now.
Thank you so much.
It looks expensive. Can we afford it, Sixten?
What a nice coupIe. Think they'll stay at our hotel?
I think I saw them in the woods...
but the man had a beard and golden buttons, so it can't be them.
Do you like it?
I can't sleep with that in the room. What can we do about it?
Have you seen this, Sixten?
- Who drew it? - A cripple. He never said his name.
He drew me while I was sitting in a cafe in Paris.
- May I borrow a needle and thread? - Black?
- Are you the cook at this hotel? - I cook and clean and do everything.
You're a busy woman.
I certainly don't sleep all day long.
- Let me try. May I? - Yes.
Let me show you how you do it.
I have another ball of wool here.
Cast on and try again.
I've never sewn on a button before.
You could support us as a tailor.
If you fall, well, you can't do anything about it.
I did once, but I was lucky. In Venice.
I danced on a wire over the canal.
An orchestra played on a raft in the lagoon.
By the light of burning torches. Oh, I love Italy!
You ask if I'm happy?
Sometimes I ask myself if I deserve to be this happy.
What we're doing is perhaps not allowed yet.
But one day people will be able to choose more than one way to live.
PeopIe will dare to admit that they change.
Have you ever seen war, Sixten?
You're a soldier, but you know nothing about your job.
War is a soldier's job, right?
Our circus tent burned down in Paris. It was hit by a grenade.
I was only two, but they told me about it. It was in '71.
All our animals died in the fire. I can remember the smell.
War is not for fancy parades, Sixten. It's the smell of burnt flesh.
Nothing is sacred nowadays. Nothing.
"Sporrong, StockhoIm." Where did you get it?
In the forest.
"When John arrived in Stockholm, he borrowed money for rent.
Always extremely sensitive...
he wanted to live where he used to watch the workers' parades."
- Have you seen the clothesline? - No.
"We are speaking of our circus princess, Elvira Madigan.
The circus came to town...
and performed at Rullan's arena.
Right away, everybody Ioved Miss Elvira.
They loved her more and more with each performance.
But one day she disappeared without a trace.
In their sorrow, her parents...
tried to hide the fact that she had run away."
Let me see.
"It was clear, as soon as one saw her...
that she was a highly strung, sensitive creature.
With her silky, golden hair flying...
she looked more like a spiritual vision than human flesh and blood.
A strange fire lived in her eyes...
and a cold smile seemed always to play on her lips...
despite the ardent enthusiasm of her admirers."
"Missing: Elvira Madigan, Sixten Sparre."
I didn't recognize you at first. Our guests will be so excited...
when they hear that Elvira Madigan is staying here.
I think Larsen has baked a cake. Let me go and tell him--
Look. Look who's missing.
- What do you mean? - The scarecrow, the gold buttons.
It has to be them-- Sparre and Madigan. I'm going to report them.
- What'll they do to him? - As a deserter, prison.
I can't whistle, Sixten.
Miss Elvira, they know who you are.
I just saw Madsen. He has a horse for you.
- You must pack right away. - Hurry, Sixten.
You forgot your knitting. You'll need a sweater come autumn.
I've got one! Easy! Easy!
Where's the fish? Did we lose it?
It's here! We have food, Hedvig.
Food! We have food!
Find a good place for a fire while I gather sticks.
I have to clean the fish.
So I finally found you after a week of looking.
I've been searching for you for a week.
Nobody knows I'm here.
- Not even-- - Not even Henrietta.
- How are my children? - Christian had whooping cough...
and Louise has lost a tooth.
- Where? - Right here. She's so proud.
Now she can spit with her mouth closed.
She always envied her brother that skill.
This is the fellow I know.
No, it isn't. I'm on the women's side now.
Unravelling wool. Lying in the grass.
I know about lying in the grass.
If you look at a blade of grass that's close to your eye...
that blade is clear but nothing else is.
Everything else is blurred.
We have to make choices, Sixten.
I believe one blade of grass can be the entire world.
And the world is nothing without grass.
We have to start somewhere. Start with something that is real.
Words have lost their meaning for me lately...
and other things have come to life instead.
Our royal parades--
the horses' hooves, the drums, the shining, sparkling bayonets.
Do you know how many layers of skin a bayonet has to go through...
before it reaches your guts?
I looked it up in a medical book.
Epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous layer..
a thin layer of fat, then the fascia.
Know what that is?
It's like a skin which covers and protects the muscles.
Then the muscles. Through it all before you reach the guts.
You have to know it layer by layer.
You have to see things up close.
She's distorted your vision.
Yes, I agree. She has.
But isn't that what love is?
To borrow another person's eyes...
to-to experience the world...
as your beloved sees and feels it?
Isn't that what love is?
What a fellow! Taking a carton of eggs to the opera.
- What's his favorite aria? - The egg aria.
- What did he do with the eggs? - Who?
- Lauritzen. - He ate them.
Shall we say it's me who's on duty?
You're shivering. I'll get your coat.
What shall we say to each other?
You did that very skillfully, but can you really afford it?
There are times when you don't question the cost.
Are you happy? I know someone who is unhappy--
- One, two, three, actually. - I know Sixten has two children.
But I don't know anything about them.
Don't you ever think of the ones he left because of you?
What gives you the right?
- I need him too. - What you need is a male admirer.
In your profession I'm sure you have many opportunities.
He's not the first, that's true, but he's the best.
So far. There will be others.
No. He's the last for me.
It's not just about people. He's betrayed his country too.
My mother is German, my father Danish. My stepfather is American.
I have friends in France and Italy.
Look. My hand is like a map.
Here are the lines, like borders.
What does it matter where the lines are?
I care about the hand-- the whole hand.
There aren't any cigars left. Remember Axelson's trousers?
His pipe went round and round.
It was a fine summer. I remember because Christian wasn't well.
I looked in on him every morning.
The sun shone through Henrietta's lace curtains-- BeIgian lace--
and made patterns on Christian's bed.
I have to tell you something-- something difficult.
Henrietta tried to kill herself.
She tried to drown herself. After she'd put the children to bed--
Did you know she was there? Did you lie about Henrietta?
Then you're no longer my friend!
He was lying. He lied about Henrietta. You must come back.
Hedvig. Hedvig my love, look at me!
"To Father from Louise"
I'm going for a walk.
Can I help in some way?
Can I help in some way?
No, sir. It's not your kind of work.
It's not even a painting. What does it say?
"T.L.," I think. I can't remember his name.
He sketched me in a cafe in Paris. He was a cripple.
A cripple's work isn't worth much.
How about two crowns?
I bought some cream for the raspberries. Look how thick it is.
- Did you buy some wool as well? - Yes. I had enough for some wool.
It'll do the front and one sleeve.
Then there's only one sleeve left to do, and I've money left over.
"Performing Artists Wanted For Annual Craftsmen's Fair."
- Can I help you, Miss? - You're looking for performers.
What is it you do?
- I'm a tightrope walker. - We don't need that.
But we have a good floor. Can you dance on it?
Show me your legs.
A little higher.
All right. Twenty-five crowns.
Tonight at 8:00.
She's a pretty little piece, eh?
Think I could have her?
I can tell you, I could really do with her.
What're you doing out here? Did you see her knees?
She was nice to me--
He's all right, but we better get away from here.
They know who we are.
Why did you show your knees? You weren't supposed to-- or were you?
How much did you show?
Up to here? Or here?
Why did you do it? I can't go and get my money now.
Don't you see, it's not my knees we're quarrelling about.
It's something else.
Don't talk about love, Sixten. Can we butter our bread with it?
You want me to find a job?
Where? Tell me!
You want me to find a job?
Tell me! Where?
How am I supposed to do it?
Should I go in and say...
"My name is Count Sparre.
I have deserted from the Swedish army. Can you give me work?"
Is that how I should do it?
Don't you understand what we have to do, Sixten?
Don't say it.
We don't have any choice.
I'm sorry. I made a mistake.
I'm sorry. I'm not well today.
I'm so hungry.
Tell me how it's done.
- The heart. - The temple.
And we thought we knew everything about our bodies.
How about some eggs?
- We don't have any eggs. - Just give me a minute.
Don't be sad.
We're just going out to have breakfast.
How do you want your eggs?
- How hard? - I'm sorry?
- How many minutes? - Four.
From the start?
No, four minutes after the water boils.
How many slices of bread do you want?
Let's be going then.
"I hope this covers the rent. Forgive the inconvenience."
You never told me your name.
- You never told me your name. - My name's Anton.
My name's Sixten.
I can't do it.
You have to.
You have to.
You have to. We have no other choice.
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