Babette’s Feast (1987), Gabriel Axel

A sublime tale of denial, sacrifice and regret in a remote corner of Denmark, Gabriel Axel’s 1987 Babette’s Feast confronts the austerity of two elderly Protestant sisters with Babette’s sumptuous and mouth-watering banquet to expose hard truths about faith and its limitations.

babettes-feast-2How do western audiences at the beginning of the 21st Century, spoilt, overfed and overstimulated as they are, react to a tale of slow austerity and constipated frugality, set in the 19th Century? Babette’s Feast [Babettes Gæstebud] is a masterpiece of sublime meditation on the gulf between the pleasures of the body and the stimulus of the spirit. As the film points at the pertinent ambiguity inherent in such dichotomy, asking intriguing questions in the process, we are served (forgive the pun) a feast of intellectual stimulation. Continue reading