It‘s one of my favorite films: you know one of those you watch again and again, still fascinating every time, always discovering new particularities of the story…
O.k. I admit to be visually very fascinated by all sorts of deserts and monotone countrysides 😉 So, though hating the cold, I love snow and ice deserts, I love all facets of white, white in white, minimalist landscapes…
And not only I love those nearly monochrome pics and movies – I adore words about it, poetic texts, philosophical text bout the white, about the desert, about the emptiness and an unimaginable wideness and borderlessness…
Ohhh, my own reveries drove me away and I‘ve told you already a lot of the film I want to present you today 😉
A film after the novel of the Danish author Peter Høeg:
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow
(original Danish title: Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne)
Director: Bille August
Starring: Julia Ormond, Gabriel Byrne, Vanessa Redgrave, Mario Adorf
release date: 1997
Nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear, 1997
A strange plot, situated in Denmark and Greenland, reflects the endlessness of the homeland of the Innui, their need of freedom and the wide openness of the land…
The protagonist Smilla Jaspersen lives in Copenhagen, her deceased mother being Greenlandic Inuit and her father a rich Dane doctor. During her Greenland childhood Smilla developed an almost intuitive understanding of all types of snow and their characteristics. As an adult she worked for a time as a scientist whose specialty was snow and ice.
Though both novel and flm could be taken as a thriller, beneath the surface of the novel, the plot is concerned with rather deeper cultural issues, particularly Denmark’s curious post-colonial history, and also the nature of relationships that exist between individuals and the societies in which they are obliged to operate.
Smilla’s relationship with Denmark and Danish society, having been brought in childhood from the poverty and freedom of Greenland to the affluent and highly ordered Denmark society, is strained and ambivalent. Smilla investigates the death of a neighbor’s child whom she befriended – a fellow Greenlander, with an alcoholic, neglectful mother and a deceased father. The story begins in Copenhagen, where the child has fallen to his death from their snowy apartment rooftop. The police refuse to consider it anything but an accident – there is only one set of footprints – the child’s – in the snow leading to the edge of the roof – but Smilla believes there is something about the footprints that show the boy was chased off the roof. Her certainty about the manner of the child’s death is due to this visceral “feeling for snow”. Her investigations lead her to decades-old conspiracies in Copenhagen, and then on a voyage on an icebreaker ship to a remote island off the Greenlandic coast, where the truth is finally discovered.
Also Known As (AKA):
Smilla’s Sense of Snow (US)
Fräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee (Germany, Austria)
Fröken Smillas känsla för snö (Sweden)
Smila: Misterio en la nieve (Spain)
Smilla (France, Canada)
Lumen taju (Finland)
Senso di Smilla per la neve (Italy)
Smilla e o Mistério da Neve (Portugal)
Smilla ve karlar (Turkey)
The English translation of the title caused lots of fuss, it‘s why there are different titles in the UK and in the US both for the novel and the film. I admit that „ Smilla’s Sense of Snow“ is a wonderful sounding title but unfortunately doesn‘t reflect at all the danish original („ Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne“) which sounds a bit clumsy – not understandable at first glance… it‘s just like the film: not easily accessible!!!
Movie Monday is hosted by Nicolas V
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