In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one could have married a young army officer and the other, a French opera singer. Their father objected in each case, and they spent their lives caring for him. Many years later - their father is now deceased - they take in French refugee, Babette Hersant, who agrees to work as their servant. After winning the lottery, Babette wants to repay the sisters for their kindness and offers to cook a French meal for them and their friends on the 100th anniversary of their father's birth. It proves to be an eye-opening experience for everyone.
Did You Know?
The original novella is set in the Norwegian village of Berlevag. Although Gabriel Axel stayed very close to the original source he felt that the original setting had become too colourful and pretty to evoke the bleakness described by Blixen, and transposed the setting to Jutland in his native Denmark, where he had the wooden village houses built. See more
In 1871 Babette pays with Skilling, which was the currency used at that time; 14 years later, Babette still uses Skilling, but Denmark changed the currency in 1875 from skilling to kroner and orer. See more
[in Danish, using English subtitles
In this remote spot there once lived two sisters who were both past the first flush of youth. They had been christened Martina and Philippa after Martin Luther and his friend Philipp Melanchton. They spent all their time and almost all their small income on good works.
Champagne aria from Don Giovanni
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung as Papin returns to his lodging See more