Nietzchka Keene | Iceland, 1990 | 78 min | English
Adapted from the tale by the Brothers Grimm and set in medieval Iceland, The Juniper Tree is also notable for being the screen-debut of art pop megastar Björk, who was 24 at the time of shooting. The film follows two sisters, Katla and Margit, who find themselves homeless following the stoning and burning of their mother for witchcraft. In search of a fresh start, they come across Johann, a young widower, and his son. Katla uses sorcery to ensnare Johann, and the two sisters are soon welcomed to live with him in his home. But Johann’s son Jonas is not so easily charmed. Due in no small part to its themes, imagery, and stunning black-and-white cinematography, The Juniper Tree invites comparison to the films of Dreyer and Bergman, but it is very much the work of a distinct cinematic voice.