Miriam Bäckström


Miriam Bäckström’s fine new film Rebecka, 2004, elicits the double entendre: where truth lies. In the film, Bäckström depends on a routine interview style to put forty-two minutes worth of questions and decrees to Rebecka Hemse, a renowned Swedish actress. It is perhaps not so odd that Rebecka calls to mind the first reality-TV show, An American Family, the 1973 cinema verité documentary chronicling seven months of the Louds carrying on their middle-class life. Yet no secret is made of the fact that there is a script for Rebecka; Bäckström met with Hemse several times during its preparation, and the actress occasionally refers to its pages on camera, raising the question of whether she is looking at a screenplay or a reconstructed account of those earlier conversations. Rather than chronicling reality, Rebecka succeeds at the invention of truth where “staging the real” has become

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