Veteran Swedish director Andersson reflects on humanity in 'About Endlessness'

The 76th Venice Film Festival - Screening of the film "About Endlessness" in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Venice, Italy September 3, 2019 - Actor Tatiana Delaunay, actor Anders Hellstrom and cast members pose. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - A father tying up his daughter’s laces in the rain, a priest doubting his faith and a man being tied to a post and then abandoned all make up little slices of life in Roy Andersson’s ‘About Endlessness’, a reflection on humanity, be it kind or cruel.

The Swedish director on Tuesday premiered his latest work at the Venice Film Festival where, in 2014, he won its top Golden Lion Prize for the black comedy “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”.

“About Endlessness” is made up of short individual stories depicting daily moments as well as historical events. They are usually introduced by a female narrator, described as “Scheherazade-esque” in production notes.

The mix of stories blends human fears, doubts, joys, love, and cruelty as people go about their lives - young women dancing outside a cafe, a couple enjoying a bottle of champagne in a bar, a dentist dealing with a patient and teenagers talking about science.

Andersson, who has a cult following in Europe, peppers these vignettes depicting vulnerability with small moments of comedy.

“Every animal on the planet feels vulnerability, we human beings do and we should be thankful for that,” Andersson told a news conference.

“That’s a gift, because life will get richer when you can understand and see how other human beings behave... how they are happy and unhappy.”

The film is one of 21 competing for the Golden Lion award at the 76th edition of the festival. The winner will be announced on Sept. 7.

Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; additional reporting by Sarah Mills; Editing by Gareth Jones