"Prominently austere, retrospective and heartrending..."
Norwegian screenwriter and director Anja Breien's sixth feature film which she wrote, premiered In competition at the 38th Venice Film Festival in 1981, was shot on locations in Norway and is a Norway-Sweden co-production which was produced by producer Gunnar Svensrud. It tells the story about a Swedish woman named Eli Laupstad who one day arrives at the place where her ancestors once lived called Jotunheimen in Norway. After meeting and acquainting a local woman named Ingeborg Eriksdottir who lives there, Eli is provided with a place to stay in return for work and starts settling there.
Subtly and precisely directed by Norwegian filmmaker Anja Breien, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main character's point of view, draws an increasingly dramatic portrayal of a woman whose new life at a new place changes after she meets a Norwegian farmer named Aslak Gimra whom she takes a liking to. While notable for its naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, reverent cinematography by Norwegian cinematographer Erling-Thurmann Andersen, low-keyed production design by production designer Ulf Axén, costume design by Norwegian costume designer and production designer Anne Siri Bryhni and use of sound, colors and light, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about superstitious persecution, unproven verdicts, the annihilating consequences of sectarianism and the beheading and burning of women who were accused of having supernatural powers in Norway as they were in numerous other countries, depicts a dense and mysterious study of character and contains a great and timely score by composer Arne Nordheim.
This historic and somewhat romantic drama from the early 1980s which is set in the Norwegian highlands in South Norway in the early 16th century during the reign of King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway and the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity and the commendable acting performances by Swedish actress Lil Terselius, Norwegian actor Bjørn Skagestad and Swedish actress Anita Björk. A prominently austere, retrospective and heartrending narrative feature which gained the Premio Pasinetti Award Lil Terselius at the 38th Venice Film Festival in 1981.
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