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The Juniper Tree (1990) artwork

The Juniper Tree (1990)

Tuesday 6th December 2022

A major rediscovery for art house audiences, the potent allegory for misogyny and its attendant tragedies, The Juniper Tree, is released on Blu-ray 23rd January 2023 from BFI.
Björk, Bryndis Petra Bragadóttir, Guðrún Gísladóttir, Valdimar Örn Flygenring, Geirlaug Sunna Þormar
Nietzchka Keene
Nietzchka Keene
BFI
1 hour 18 minutes
23/01/2023
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An unsung talent in her lifetime, director, professor and Fulbright scholar Nietzchka Keene's stark, stunning debut feature The Juniper Tree is loosely based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name, and stars Björk in her first feature film performance.

Set in medieval Iceland, The Juniper Tree follows Margit (Björk) and her older sister Katla (Bryndis Petra Bragadottir) as they flee for safety after their mother is burned to death for witchcraft. Finding shelter and protection with Johan (Valdimar Orn Flygenring.), and his resentful young son, Jonas (Geirlaug Sunna Thormar), the sisters help form an impromptu family unit that's soon strained by Katla's burgeoning sorcery.

Photographed entirely on location in the stunning landscapes of Iceland in spectacular black-and-white by Randy Sellars, The Juniper Tree is a deeply atmospheric film, evocative of Carl Theodor Dreyer's Day of Wrath and Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, and filled with indelible waking dream sequences (courtesy of legendary experimental filmmaker Pat O'Neill).

A potent allegory for misogyny and its attendant tragedies, The Juniper Tree, released on Blu-ray 23rd January 2023 from BFI, is a major rediscovery for art house audiences.

  • Restored in 4K and presented in High Definition
  • New feature commentary by Icelandic cultural scholar Dr Guðrún D Whitehead
  • Still (1978, 4 mins), Hinterland (1981, 25 mins), Aves (1998, 7 mins): three remastered short films by Nietzchka Keene
  • Video interview with cinematographer Randy Sellars (2019, 29 mins)
  • Archival video interview with Nietzchka Keene (2002, 15 mins)
  • Outtakes from The Juniper Tree (5 mins)
  • The Witch's Fiddle (1924, 7 mins): a British folk rarity from the BFI National Archive
  • Iceland - The Land of Fire and Ice (1929, 15 mins): little-seen footage of Iceland from the silent cinema era
  • US theatrical trailer
  • Illustrated booklet featuring new essays by Dr Deborah Allison and Paul Fairclough and previously published writing by Angeline Gragasin, Patrick Moyroud and Amy Sloper

Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.

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