How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Widowed Patriarch Borgen, who's rather prominent in his community, has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, Johannes, who believes he is Jesus, and Anders, young, slight, in love with the tailor's daughter. The fundamentalist sect of the girl's father is anathema to Borgen's traditional Lutheranism; he opposes the marriage until the tailor forbids it, then Borgen's pride demands that it happen. Unexpectedly, Inger, who is the family's sweetness and light, has problems with her pregnancy. The rational doctor arrives, and a long night brings sharp focus to at least four views of faith.Written by
very strong early pictures, followed by a slow build up of the plot. introducing character after character. each one played very carefully without the slightest overacting. strong faces, intense voices. the visuals show a black and white with some soft sand tone in between, at least it seemed like that. wonderful cinematography, very careful and precise lights.
there is almost no editing. there are minute long scenes without a cut. the set is most of the time studio and the acting happens like in a play, wit the audience at the position of the camera. yet miraculously it never feels ... staged. very careful small pieces are set in between to illustrate characters, like the end, when the doctor slightly touches the arm of the priest, following their earlier conversation and contrasting their social position.
an amazing piece. very late i realized that most of it was without any music, building up the auditive experience by rhythm of words ... or of breath. as in the givingBirth sequence when the breathing of the woman is somehow intense, yet not loud at all, very different from more modern versions of givingBirth in movies. not necessarily realistic in sound, but totally in the intensity.
what a film. and i had never heard of it until a friend put the DVD in my hand ...
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