On September 22, see the story of one of the world’s greatest athletes and the inventor of modern figure skating in Sonja — The White Swan (Norway, 2019; dir. Anne Sewitsky)!
In 1936, Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie (Ine Marie Wilmann), a three-time Olympic ladies’ singles champion famed worldwide for her athleticism, decided to move to Hollywood to become a film star. Initially doubted by studio executives, Sonja quickly proved her worth and became one of the most highly paid actresses of her time. In this biopic of the star’s journey from the ice to movie sets, where her first film broke box office records by selling the most tickets in the world in 1937, Norwegian director Anne Sewitsky captures the grandiose rise and fall of Sonja’s career with an intimacy that pushes beyond traditional biopic conventions, tracking Henie’s willingness to sacrifice everything to stay in the spotlight as vanity and alcoholism threaten her downfall from the sidelines. Grounded in the sexism and double standards of the time, Sonja — The White Swan dives under the glossy veneer of Hollywood movie magic to reveal the greed and jealousy that lie beneath its icy surface. (114 min. In Norwegian and English with English subtitles)
“Wilmann delivers an athletic, confident performance…even though she behaves dreadfully, her Sonja still manages to be a sympathetic presence – occasionally”—ScreenDaily
Film screenings will take place as a 3 PM matinee and 7 PM evening showing. Tickets to this event must be purchased in advance online at the link above; film screenings will take place in Victor Borge Hall. All attendees are required to present proof of vaccination upon arrival in compliance with New York State government; read more here. Attendees are required to follow all Scandinavia House safety protocols, including wearing masks during the program and observing social distancing rules in signage. Please read our full safety protocols here.
About the Director
Anne Sewitsky (b. 1978) studied directing at the Norwegian Film School, graduating in 2006 with the short Hjertekutt as her diploma film. Her first film after graduating, the short Oh, My God! was given special mention by the children’s jury, and awarded the Special Prize of the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerkin in the Generation Kplus programme of the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. Her feature film debut came in 2010 with the comedy Sykt Lykkelig (Happy, happy), which was awarded the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.
Her second feature film followed shortly: The children’s drama Jørgen + Anne = Sant (Totally True Love) premiered at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival, opening the Generation Kplus programme that year, with a great reception. The film was also a winner with Norwegian critics and audiences alike. Sewitsky has also worked in television, directing four episodes of the popular dramaseries Himmelblå for the Norwegian Broadcasting Company NRK in 2008, as well as four episodes of Koselig med peis, an 8-episode dramaseries produced by Tordenfilm AS, and aired by NRK in early 2011.