A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they ...
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A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they flee and become two of the many outlaws of Iceland's mountains. Written by
Erik Gregersen <email@example.com>
It is a truism that Victor Sjostrom's films dramatise the conflict between nature and society, but his treatment is less simplistic than might be first apparent. For instance, society in 'The Outlaw and his Wife' is ruled by a brutal, land-grabbing Bailiff who whips servants for losing a sheep; but it is also a place rich in pageantry, costume and rite, where communities can express themselves.
Similarly, nature might be a site of freedom for social outsiders, a sustaining idyll for lovers, and an awe-inspiring backdrop, but it also overflows in the lonely vagrant who comes close to rape, or the cliff and snows that can kill.
Throughout Sjostrom shifts impressively between registers - nature as both real presence and symbolic backdrop; plot as both social depiction and spiritual journey - while retaining familiar action pleasures.
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