Pelle the Conqueror
1987, Bille August, Denmark/Sweden, 150 min. With Max von Sydow, Pelle Hvenegaard.
- Fri, Apr 21st 2:00pm
- Sat, Apr 22nd 5:15pm
"A towering achievement, grueling in its portrayal of a harsh existence yet ultimately an exhilarating experience unlikely to be forgotten." — Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Eye-popping, wide-screen time travel...A natural, organic epic, and one that opens a window on a meticulously detailed bygone world that, by film’s end, you might feel as though you've visited." — Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
Winner of the Cannes Palme D'Or and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, PELLE THE CONQUEROR features an Oscar-nominated performance by the great Max von Sydow in this meticulous and moving adaptation of the first volume of Martin Andersen Nexø's classic novel. Fleeing privation in turn-of-the-century Sweden, illiterate widower Lasse (von Sydow) and his young son Pelle (Hvenegaard) emigrate to Denmark, expecting paradise but barely managing to find serf-like servitude on a large farm run by a sadistic overseer and a lecherous owner. The narrative teems with a Dickensian array of vivid characters and startling incidents, but at its core is the tender but quietly heartbreaking relationship between father and son, as Lasse diminishes in his son's eyes and realizes that even his modest dreams ("coffee in bed on Sundays") will have to be deferred to the next generation. In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles. New 2K digital restoration. (MR)