Norwegian screenwriter, producer and director Haakon Sandøy's second feature film which was written by Polish screenwriter, author and director Aleksander Scibor-Rylski, is loosely based on a biography called "Przybyzsewski" from 1966 by Polish professor and author Stanislaw Helsztynski (1881-1986) and is a free interpretation of the events and people it describes. It premiered in Norway and is a Norway-Poland co-production. It tells the story about a 26-year-old author named Dagny Juel who after having travelled from Norway arrives at a train station in Berlin, Germany where her friend, a Norwegian painter named Edvard Munch, whom she has not seen in months has gotten her a room at a pension house. Whilst staying there and socialising with a group of mostly European bohemian artists whom Edvard introduces her to, Dagny attracts the attention of amongst others a celebrated Swedish author named August Strindberg who invites her and Edvard to one of his plays and a Polish author named Stanislaw Przybyzsewski whom is trying to make a name for himself in the world and who has gotten her friend an exhibition in the city.
Finely and subtly directed by Scandinavian filmmaker Haakon Sandøy, this finely paced and somewhat fictional tale which is narrated mostly from the two main characters viewpoints, draws an at times involving portrayal of a Norwegian woman who during a stay in the capital city of Germany is seduced by a married Polish artist. While notable for it's naturalistic milieu depictions, fine cinematography, production design, costume design and use of sound, this character-driven and dialog-driven story about a woman, mother, wife, sister, daughter, writer, bohemian, musician and unrecognized 19th century artist who came from a cultured upper-class family in the town of Kongsvinger in Norway and her marriage with a struggling though unreliable writer during the early 1890s whom she soon learned was devoted to his career and far more interested in his own fame and other women than in her and their children, her relationship with a Polish author and philosopher named Stanislaw Brzozowski and her spouse's relationship with a Polish woman who was one of the mothers of his many children named Martha Foerder and a Polish woman named Jadwiga Kasprowiczowa, depicts two interrelated studies of character and contains a prominent score by Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim.
This biographical, historic and atmospheric period drama from the late 1970s which is set mostly in Germany, Norway and Poland during the late 19th century and where a woman who was regarded by many as a femme fatale, was the model for some of Edvard Munch's canvases and who worked to promote many Norwegian artists in Germany, agreed to a matrimony which all though giving her a son named Zenon and a daughter named Iwa, hindered her from pursuing a literary career as her artistic talent became overshadowed by her husband's growing acclaim, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, subtle continuity, variegated characters, scenes of Dagny Juel and Edvard Munch and the fine acting performances by Norwegian actress Lise Fjeldstad, Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski, Norwegian actor Nils Ole Oftebro and Swedish actor Per Oscarsson (1927-2010). A dramatic, somewhat romantic and austere reconstruction of significant events in the life of a Nordic artist whose writings were held back and not published in her homeland until seven decades after her death.
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