The movie was Babette’s Feast. I had purchased and watched it sometime ago. I just watched it again, and had to share it with you.
The movie review begins with a quote from Robert Capon, “Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world.” Mr. Brito then states that, “Babette’s Feast is Robert Capon on screen. It is a delicious blend of humor and smells; sights and music. It is virtually impossible to contemplate the movie without considering its vastly religious and sacramental implications.”
The 1987 film is based on a short story by Isak Dinesen. It is filmed in Denmark and shared with us through English subtitles. The language is only part of the film. Its beautiful cinematography, lovely music, flashback to a time and culture unfamiliar to us, all come together to climax in a lovely feast.
This story tells of two daughters of a prophet, pastor, leader of a small group of people in a Danish village. These two daughters never married, and even after their father passed on, they continued to care for and minister to the small congregation. Strangers came and went from the village, impacted by the loveliness of the two daughters. One of those strangers sent a needy and alone Babette to the sisters, asking that she be allowed to live with them and to be their cook. As the 100th birthday of their father approached, the sisters wanted to have a celebration to honor the memory of their father and all that he had taught their small, now bickering and fractured congregation. Babette wins a lottery in France and wants to provide a feast for the sisters as they remember their father. All I can say is that beautiful and unexpected things happen through Babette’s gracious gift.
The review closes with this statement, “Babette’s Feast provides an image of the holy. The holy is not other-worldly, it is the entrance of the heavenly into the world. The feast becomes a celebration of life. Bread and wine are not merely earthly nourishment, but the relentless call of grace to those who are afar off. Come and taste the feast.”
NOTE: I was encouraged by last week’s Bespoken episode also on the same subject of feasting that prompted this post. Go listen to it!