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Stiller, Garbo & I

Finland, 1987 (MIFF 1988, Documentary)

Director: Claes Olsson, Alvaro Pardo

The story of Maurice Stiller, the silent director, his dog Charly and Stiller's grandson Ruben. When Stiller went to Hollywood, Charly remained in Sweden. It is 1961 and Stiller's grandson, Ruben hears the doorbell ring. When he answers it he finds a dog, Najda. Najda is looking for Charlie. Together with Najda, he tries to find the answers to the questions that have beset them.

Using the above 'fantasy' as a pretext the film employs various means to establish a history and to give substance to Ruben's memory of his grandfather. The film also ponders the reasons for Greta Garbo's great success in Hollywood as against Stiller's relative failure as an émigré director. Was it because Charly stayed behind?

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