Pelle the Conqueror
Long but rewarding, the Danish-Swedish Pelle the Conqueror is based on the early passages of Martin Andersen Nexø's four-volume novel. Pelle (Pelle Hvengaard) is the son of a 19th-century Swedish farmer (Max Von Sydow). Seeking escape from their poverty-stricken surroundings, father and son emigrate to Denmark. Upon arrival, however, they are treated like indentured servants, leading to a profound ideological turnaround for the impressionable Pelle. In the original novel, he ended up embracing Communism, but Nexø's political overtones are soft-pedalled in the film, which concentrates on the close, indestructible relationship between Pelle and his father. Directed by Bille August, Pelle the Conqueror won the 1988 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.