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Kejsaren (1979)

Elje, a mentally handicapped and bullied young man, is longing for his mother. He acquaints the local whore, a polish woman, who resembles his mother.


Jösta Hagelbäck
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Sigurd Björling Sigurd Björling ... Vicar
Grazyna Brattander Grazyna Brattander ... Polish whore
Kent-Arne Dahlgren Kent-Arne Dahlgren ... Sailor
Jan Dolata Jan Dolata ... Pimp
Rune Ek Rune Ek ... Farmhand
Gunnar Ekström Gunnar Ekström ... Anton
Göte Fyhring Göte Fyhring ... Rättare
Per Gavelius Per Gavelius ... Harbour Guard
Ralf Glaerum Ralf Glaerum ... Kock
Olle Grönstedt Olle Grönstedt ... Man i keps
Gerissa Jalander Gerissa Jalander ... Moder
Jan Jönson Jan Jönson ... Dåre (as Jan Jönsson)
Anne-Lie Kinnunen Anne-Lie Kinnunen ... Sångerska
Jan Kruse Jan Kruse ... Embassy official
Tage Liljedahl Tage Liljedahl ... Polack


The historical and political background to "Kejsaren" is the Swedish import of foreign polish farm labor in the early 1900s. The Swedish farm workers protested against this, with hate and racism. Elje Ström is the son of a Swedish farm worker and a polish woman. He is mentally handicapped and bullied, longing for his mother, who was returned to Poland. Nazism is spreading over northern Europe. Elje travels to Poland to find his mother. Scammed by pimps and whores, beaten and despised, he is returned to Sweden by the police. He is admitted to S:t Lars mental hospital, Lund/Malmö. Here, at S:t Lars, Elje becomes "Kejsaren", partly influenced by Hitler. He meets with love and understanding from a polish orderly. She looks and feels a lot like his mother. In a fit of psychotic madness, he kills the orderly. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Release Date:

24 February 1979 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Emperor See more »

Filming Locations:

Tomelilla, Sweden See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?


Bass Drum Sounds
Music by Sam Fonteyn
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User Reviews

See and behold
27 July 2013 | by ulf-635-523367See all my reviews

Painter and poet Jösta Hagelbäck takes on Birgitta Trotzigs novel "Sjukdomen" (The Disease). A true challenge. This is Jöstas debut as a filmmaker. "Kejsaren" is a minor masterpiece of kleinkunst, a fresco brought to life by a dynamic and hardworking ensemble and production team. Anders Åberg's interpretation of Elje "Jesaja" Ström, is remarkable, bold and unforgettable. "Kejsaren" tells the story of a mentally handicapped and bullied young man. Loved by his father. Longing for his mother. Living in the south of Sweden. Farm country. Working the fields. I find this unique fresco of film related in spirit and passion to the works of Herzog, Fassbinder, Bergman and Pasolini. Perhaps even Conrad Rooks "Chappaqua". Jösta Hagelbäck never came close to this cornerstone of Swedish cinema.

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