Gypsy Anne is the first Norwegian feature film set in a distinctly Norwegian milieu, and the first Norwegian film adapted from a literary work. An archetypal instance of Norwegian peasant tales, which often deal with love across boundaries of class and wealth, it follows a foundling, Anne, who grows up on a wealthy farmstead with Haldor, the son and heir of the owner. When the two fall in love as adults and wish to marry, Anne is cast out from the family when Haldorr’s strict mother has a more suitable match in mind for her son. Anne, with her vagabond blood and fiery temper, takes revenge, with unexpected consequences. A clear religious allegory of sin, the film is also a story about a woman who rebels against her fate, makes dangerous choices, and remains undaunted by tradition and authority.

As the first Norwegian romantic national film, Gypsy Anne became the starting point for an important genre tradition in Norwegian film history, dominant in the silent period but also important for the sound cinema of the 1930s and ’40s, long after contemporary and more urban stories had found their place in the repertoire. Directed by Rasmus Breistein (Norway, 1920). 75 min.



About the Series

2017 marks the centennial of the start of what has become known as the “Golden Age” of Swedish cinema. This “Golden Age” is commonly regarded in film history as the Swedish film industry’s artistic peak in the years following the success of Victor Sjöström’s Henrik Ibsen adaptation A Man There Was (Terje Vigen), which premiered in January 1917. It is associated with films with large budgets and artistic ambitions, based on acclaimed literary works, and mostly set in a rural milieu, with location anchoring the action in the Scandinavian landscape. These films were often referred to as “national films” because of their reliance on national literature, national landscape, and national costume. There has been a tendency, however, to focus accounts of the Swedish “Golden Age” exclusively on the films made by Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller, leaving out all other Swedish directors who made films in the same style. Many wonderful films have thus slipped from view because they do not match this overly narrow conception of Sweden’s film history.

This two-part film series, which will continue next month, is built around the argument that the first Swedish “Golden Age” films constituted a significant challenge to filmmakers in the neighboring countries, as well as in Sweden itself — aesthetically, commercially, and culturally. By showing a variety of important but lesser-known Swedish “Golden Age” films in combination with artistically connected films from the surrounding countries, we’ll emphasize how the Swedish films functioned as a catalyst in the other Nordic countries for the conception of what a national cinema is and should be.

Special thanks to the Danish Film Institute and the Swedish Film Institute and Pordenone Silent Film Festival.

To purchase a series pass for “The Swedish Challenge,” click here.

Films in the series include:

A Norway Lass /Synnöve SolbakkenTHU—JAN 25
A Mother’s Fight /Thora van DekenFRI—JAN 26
Gypsy Anne /Fante-AnneSAT—JAN 27
Love’s Crucible /Vem dömerSAT—JAN 27
Anna LiisaTHU—FEB 1
The House of Shadows/Morænen—FRI—FEB 2
The Bride of Glomdal /Glomdalsbruden—SAT—FEB 3



Photo Credit: Nasjonalbiblioteket, Oslo/Mo i Rana

$12 ($7 ASF Members)
Series pass $45 ($30 ASF Members)