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London Short Film Festival

Radio Atlas presents Risk + Q&A with Radio Atlas founder Eleanor McDowall

Radio Atlas is an award-winning platform for subtitled audio from around the world – find out more with these short docs.

Image from Radio Atlas presents Risk + Q&A

Total runtime 90min

Radio Atlas presents an international premiere of In The Shadow of the Phantom in translation, the legendary Swedish radio-maker Susanne Björkman’s Prix Italia-winning documentary. Telling the story of 25-year-old Aziza - a woman who works in an underground Metro station in Stockholm, close to where a group of skinheads hang out. Her mother is German, her father is Tunisian and Aziza herself was brought up in Sweden, but people have let her know in no uncertain terms that she does not fit in.

In the Shadow of the Phantom is paired with a short documentary from one of Susanne Björkman’s first radio assignments: a serendipitous recording of a lonely man in a ‘Beer Cafe’ in Malmö. As Susanne approached his table he began a spontaneous monologue about his loneliness, which lasts the length of the song playing on the jukebox in the background.

Susanne Björkman was born in 1946, beginning her radio career at the Swedish Radio Company in 1971 and working exclusively in documentary form from 1976. She’s a garlanded feature-maker, winning awards such as the Prix Italia, the Jörgen Ericsson Award and the Ikaros. In 1990 she became Sweden’s first professor in radio production at the Drama Institute in Stockholm. Susanne’s programmes are often portraits of people she has spent extensive time with, recording what happens in their lives. What is recorded is both an external and an internal process. The conflicts or themes that crystallise during the recording are often quite separate from the genesis of the documentary.

Radio Atlas is an award-winning platform for subtitled audio from around the world – a place to hear inventive documentaries and works of sound art that have been made in languages you don’t necessarily speak.

Man in Beer Cafe (Man på ölkafé)
Sweden 1974. Susanne Björkman. 6min

In The Shadow of the Phantom (I Skuggan Av Fantomen)
Sweden 1994. Susanne Björkman. 52min (1994)


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