Magnus director Benjamin Ree interview
Magnus director Benjamin Ree interview

Interview by: Sole Marques and Monika Pundzaite
During the London Film Festival the film we did a phone interview with Benjamin Ree the Norwegian director of Magnus. Magnus is a documentary about the #1 World Chess Champion his fellow Norwegian Magnus Carlsen. It’s a documentary full of life and emotions. Benjamin gave us an insight into the making of the film, he became fascinated by Magnus Carlsen and his story and started working on the film in 2013. He tells he was inspired to tell the story about family values, creativity and intuition. They had 500 h of archival footage and home movies from Magnus and his family, one of the producers started shooting the movie back in 2004.  Benjamin confesses he is not a chess player himself but he is more interested in the psychology of of chess. Benjamin says he wanted to “tell the story, a present tense coming of age story, about this child prodigy growing up and becoming the highest rated chess player of all times against all odds, that was an amazing story to be part of and direct”. For Benjamin the story is one of an underdog, Magnus grew up in Norway that has no chess tradition, to become the highest rated chess player against all odds, he learned chess in a very different way to other chess champions specifically the very disciplined Russian school. Magnus just read pages randomly from chess books in a playful way.

He had a goal at 13 to become the world champion, and he achieved it through his intuition and creativity and the crucial support of his family. Benjamin says chess is a mix of art, science and mathematics… there are more chess possibilities then there are atoms in the universe, so, he continues, the chess game is perfect place to use intuition to find ways to win.

Go and see this film and watch our video to learn more about its talented director!

Magnus is out in UK cinemas 11th of November.

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