Best Movies by Farr

Pelle the Conqueror

Pelle the Conqueror Poster
Pelle the Conqueror Poster





Pelle the Conqueror

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What's it About

With few opportunities to alleviate the miseries of poverty in his native Sweden, widowed farmer Lasse (Von Sydow) moves with his young son Pelle (Hvenegaard) to the Danish island of Bornholm in the 1890s. But instead of finding succor or relief, Lasse is reduced to indentured servitude on a Baltic farm, a cruel twist of fate Pelle is helpless to reverse. They manage to adjust over time, and in that gradual process, young Pelle grows up.

Why we love it

August's Oscar-winning coming-of-age drama portrays the grim realities of late-19th-century peasant life, following the tightly knit relationship between father and son with honesty and heart-wrenching verisimilitude. Bergman regular Von Sydow is terrific as the elderly Lasse, giving a performance that is at once stoic and crushingly sad. Hvenegaard holds his own, too, as Pelle, a pre-pubescent boy who learns to adopt a fiercely independent stance by watching his father's daily humiliations. Long but deeply rewarding, "Conqueror" is a film about bleak lives and mutual human reliance that subtly manages to rise above nihilistic despair.