CPH:DOX presents this year the movie, ‘The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson’, which is about the guitar player Wilko Johnson who was diagnosed with a fatal cancer but through his music and his indomitable persistence learn to live with the disease and understand life in a completely different – and more positive perspective.


The Swedish singer Jenny Wilson was a few years ago through a similar process in which she used her art to process and understand her illness. We had a talk with Jenny about her illness and how the music played a part.

‘The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson’ is about the guitarist in Dr. Feelgood, Wilko Johnson, who through his music finds a way to deal with his fatal illness. Did you ever use music as a tool to tackle your own course of disease?

Absolutely! I’ve always used my own life, my surroundings and my everyday life in my art and music. Both the movie ‘Beyond the Wasteland’ and latest the album ‘Demand the Impossible!’ is based on my illness and all that it set in motion in me.

How did your course of disease change your approach to music?

I’ve become more uncompromising. Definitely. I’ve gotten a sharper and more critical pen!

How much has your experiences with having a disease so close to you influenced itself on your latest record, ‘Demand the Impossible’? It was about a political stand too, right?

My latest album is actually about the body fighting against society. There has been so much war and misery on both sides for me. And rebellion and riots. I want to work with the physical sensation it is when powerlessness is turned to anger and energy.

In the movie, Wilko explains how his disease was the catalytic that made him appreciate life to its fullest. Was that the same experience you had? 

Yes. It’s been a cleansing experience in many ways. I’ve never been as open towards life as I am today.

Has your relationship towards music changed since you recovered?

Yes and no. I think I’ve become more eclectic, more ”wild” towards the things I’m doing.


Watch the film in Palads this Friday Nov 13 at 19:00, read more here.

Buy tickets here.