Margit and her older sister, Katla, flee their homeland in Iceland after their mother is killed for practicing witchcraft. Needing a place to stay, Katla casts a spell over a young farmer ... See full summary »
A passionate artist creates in order to release her strong pent up emotions. Themes of justice and retribution especially influence her. One night she sees a dying man in a car and decides to search for answers.
Margit and her older sister, Katla, flee their homeland in Iceland after their mother is killed for practicing witchcraft. Needing a place to stay, Katla casts a spell over a young farmer named Jóhann which makes him fall in love with her, ensuring the wellbeing of herself and Margit. Jóhann's son, Jóhas, sees through Katla's plan and pleads for his father to make her go away. To help Jóhas in his struggle, Margit's mother appears to Margit in visions and provides a magic amulet of protection for the boy. Will Jóhas be able to rid his family of Katla or will she continue to control them with her witchcraft? Written by
Where did she go?
She became ashes and left with the wind.
And her soul?
Her soul... was tied with the heart of a bird.
And the tread will hold forever?
Until the bird's heart breaks.
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......which usually means that I'm going to need a second viewing to make up my mind as to whether or not I liked this film or not. I happen to have a fondness for slow paced films because a lot of times that slow pace is essential for character development and for the building of certain emotions whether it be sadness, happiness, action, scares or whatever. With "The Juniper Tree", I came away from it's slow and at times snail-like pace feeling rather empty and void of specific emotions. I don't see this as a film for everyone and I can certainly see where many will really dislike it but even though I cam away empty there is something about it that made me glad to have seen it and wanting to see it again sometime in order to see if I "get it". Now, all that being said, the film does have some good things going for it. The black and white photography and the Icelandic locations are astounding and make you feel like your in another time and place. The ambient sounds and the simple music score add to the overall feeling as well. It's a sort of brooding tale with a couple of bizarre moments but I certainly wouldn't classify it as a "horror" film or an out-and-out tale of witchcraft. It pretty much plays as a drama with some mystic overtones. The movie is probably known to some for the mere fact that it stars Bjork, and she is quite good, but there is more to it then just that. I just wish I knew what it was. I'll give it another watch because I think there is something here that I'm missing and that something is probably the one thing that in the end, will have me giving this film the thumbs up.
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