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The Juniper Tree

(Rated Unclassified)

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Stunning New Restoration

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Overview

Newly restored in breathtaking quality, revisit the feature film debut of Icelandic enigma Björk — a dreamily poetic, slyly feminist twist on a lesser-known Brothers Grimm fairytale. When their mother is killed for practising witchcraft, Margit (Björk) and her older sister Katla (Bryndis Petra Bragadóttir) flee their homeland in search of safety. Needing a place to stay, Katla casts a love spell over a young farmer Jóhann (Valdimar Örn Flygenring) and soon rouses the suspicion of Jóhann's witch-fearing son. It’s not long before things take a turn for the macabre and the sisters are forced to protect themselves against ghostly visions, antagonistic villagers and the strange forces of desire.

"A film that’s dark and delightful and ripe for rediscovery"
— IndieWire
"Distinctive, ambitious, and genuinely poetic"
— Los Angeles Times
"In watching [the] newly restored version, I was struck not only by Björk’s distinctive charisma at 24 years old but also by the talent of the film’s writer, director and editor, Nietzchka Keene"
— The New York Times
"Keene's stunningly spare yet phantasmagorical images fuse the forces of nature with the spirit of mystery. Björk brings an otherworldly calm to her visionary role"
— The New Yorker

Why You Should See This Film

Shot in stunning 35mm on location in Iceland, The Juniper Tree was the debut feature from late director, professor and Fulbright scholar Nietzchka Keene. Premiering to glowing reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991, its awe-inspiring visuals – courtesy of Randy Sellars and Pat O’Neill – called to mind everything from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Day of Wrath and Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring. Essential viewing for Björk devotees and arthouse completists alike, don’t miss this opportunity to catch an under-seen treasure on our Golden Screen.

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  • Year: 1990
  • Rating: Unclassified
  • Director: Nietzchka Keene
  • Cast: Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Bryndis Petra Bragadóttir, Guðrún Gísladóttir
  • Duration: 78 minutes
  • Language: English
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