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You, the Living (2007)
"Du levande" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  21 September 2007 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 9,740 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 58 user | 92 critic | 14 from

You, the Living is a film about humankind, its greatness and its baseness, joy and sorrow, its self-confidence and anxiety, its desire to love and be loved.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elisabeth Helander ...
Mia (as Elisabet Helander)
Jörgen Nohall ...
Uffe (as Jugge Nohall)
Jan Wikbladh ...
The fan (as Jan Wikblad)
Björn Englund ...
Birgitta Persson ...
Tubaspelarens fru
Lennart Eriksson ...
Man on the balcony
Jessika Lundberg ...
Eric Bäckman ...
Micke Larsson
Rolf Engström ...
Jessica Nilsson ...
The teacher
Pär Fredriksson ...
The carpet dealer
Leif Larsson ...
Patrik Anders Edgren ...
Professor (as Patrik Edgren)
Gunnar Ivarsson ...
The businessman
Waldemar Nowak ...
The pick-pocket


A series of scenes that focus specially on a single idea, emotion or act us. In the absence of interfering qualities this film is able to take one factoring influence and amplify it to absurd and hilarious proportions. Each scene gives us an uninterrupted view at some of the more unglamorous characteristics that in the end determine who we are, both as individuals and as a thread in the patchwork of the collective human unconscious. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

21 September 2007 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

You, the Living  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,924 (USA) (31 July 2009)


$21,438 (USA) (7 August 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This consists of 50 short sketches, each scene filmed in one take. See more »


Mia: I'm a miserable wench, on an ugly bench!
See more »


Follows Songs from the Second Floor (2000) See more »


Creole Song
Written by Kid Ory (as Edward Ory)
Performed by Papa Bue's Viking Jazz Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Another cautionary tale in Andersson's unmistakable style
30 September 2007 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

"With all the misery in the world, how can we not get drunk?" – Mia

A lovely aerial view of a major city turns ominous with the approach of a fleet of airplane bombers; an irate hairdresser reacting to a perceived racial slur cuts a road through a businessman's bushy hair; a man dreams of being dragged to an electric chair after a failed magic trick and a teacher breaks down in front of her grade school class because her husband called her a hag. These and about fifty other vignettes that run the gamut from the outright depressing to the wildly humorous to the joyously uplifting populate Roy Andersson's You, the Living, his first feature since his critically acclaimed if commercially unsuccessful Songs From the Second Floor.

You, the Living is filled with the same kind of imaginative set-pieces as Songs, replete with black humor, surreal situations, and strange looking characters. Though a bit overlong and less focused than his earlier work, what remains constant is Andersson's unmistakable style with its stationary camera, sterile-looking backgrounds, and precise attention to detail. If there is a theme that ties the sketches together, it is that our time on Earth is limited and "tomorrow's another day', so let's treat each other with kindness. Along the way, we are entertained by tuba and drum music from the Louisiana Brass Band, dinner guests at a banquet hall standing on their chairs singing a rousing song, and a house that turns into a moving train.

The emotions range from the gloom of a daughter attempting to communicate with an Alzheimer's patient to a young woman's ecstatic dream about marrying a handsome guitar-player named Micke to the cheers of a crowd of onlookers. While there is no continuous narrative thread, the theme of greed and desperation appears in several sketches. The first of these threads features two corpulent individuals and their tiny dog sitting on a park bench, the woman bewailing the fact that no one understands or loves her, yet she blithely ignores the man's comforting and reassuring words.

There is also a hefty admixture of irony. During what seems to be an executive luncheon, one man tells another on the phone that workers don't appreciate quality and how nice it is to appreciate money and the things that it can buy such as fine wine. When he is not looking, however, a man at an adjacent table calmly lifts his wallet from his jacket on the back of his chair. Though Andersson's cynicism is at times not very well hidden, You the Living has an underlying humanism that shows compassion for the human condition. It is a cautionary tale that looks at the mess we humans have gotten ourselves into but suggests there is still time to turn it around, if we heed the warning of the poet Goethe that opens the film, "Be pleased then, you the living, in your delightfully warmed bed, before Lethe's ice-cold wave will lick your escaping foot."

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Swastikas on the tables?? nattviska
Am I the only one who found this film tiresome? SusanMarina
Could someone please explain the movie...please. Walter_Neff
is this more digestable than Songs From the Second Floor? j2los2
Video of Roy Andersson at work on DU LEVANDE !!! x2frnz
more on the music - the dining song this time michael-christie-2
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