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Peter Watkins' innovative biopic THE FREETHINKER explores in rich detail the life of author August Strindberg and his troubled relationship with Siri von Essen, Strindberg's first wife. Assembled over a two-year period at the Nordens Folk High School near Stockholm as part of a class that the filmmaker taught in the early 1990s, twenty-four students were involved in all aspects of the production: researching the historical details, writing the script (adapted from an earlier screenplay by Watkins), filming the assorted scenes and even sewing the costumes. The unusual process behind THE FREETHINKER inevitably produced an unconventional yet highly original result, free of the strict chronology typical of such films and thus able to delve more deeply into Strindberg's place in the world during his lifetime and his continued importance today.

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