Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Easter "Feast"

After entertaining brother and sister-in-law yesterday and earlier today, chilled this evening and caught up with a DVD of a film I'd been meaning to see for ages, "Babette's Feast". What a beautiful movie. Made in Denmark in 1987 it's about a remote village there and the effect of the arrival of a French housekeeper, Babette, at the house of the two daughters of the late minister. The film slowly depicts and unravels the undercurrents in the tiny, austere and claustrophic community. The second half moves us slowly towards the feast of the title, to which all the village is invited, and at which the whole village is transformed. This long scene is fantastic, and really turns into a mystical, messianic feast. I'm not surprised that some people have seen touches of religion, Christianity and indeed the Mass itself in the film, though none of that is explicit. The original story was by Karen Blixen of "Out of Africa" fame, and the film won both the Oscar and Bafta for Best Foreign Film. There's an interesting page of links about it on the Karen Blixen website here.
"Babette's Feast" is one of those films that are sort of religious in a subtle way. I found the banquet scene very moving, which shows how well the film has drawn you into the whole life of the village...  Fr M approves!

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