The Witch Hunt

Forfølgelsen

She risked all for a man but was too strong for him. In the age of witch-hunting, there was no room for forceful women...

Screening Schedule

No scheduled screenings.


Direction: Anja Breien
Script: Anja Breien
Cinematography: Erling Thurmann-Andersen
Editing: Lars Hagström
Sound: Thomas Samuelsson
Music: Arne Nordheim
Actors: Bjørn Skagestad, Jan Hårstad, Espen Skjønberg, Anita Björk, Lil Terselius, Eilif Armand
Production: Norsk Film
Producer/Producers: Gunnar Svensrud
Sets: Ulf Axén
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Norway, Sweden
Production Year: 1981
Duration: 93'
Contact: Norwegian Film Institute
Awards/Distinctions: Best Actress Award, Special Mention - Venice IFF 1981

Anja Breien

Anja Breien (b. 1940) was educated at the French film school L'Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC), graduating in 1964, after first having studied French at the University of Oslo, as well as having had her start in the movie-business working as a script supervisor on Nils R. Müllers film Det Store Varpet in 1961. She made her directorial debut with the short film Growing Up in 1967, based on a medieval legend. The short was later to become part of the portmanteau film Days From A Thousand Years in 1970. Her feature film debut was the criminal drama Rape in 1971, which received raving reviews, and has in recent years been released on DVD as part of the “Norwegian Classics” line. Breien's second film followed in 1975, and has since become one of the most commented and analyzed films in Norwegian cinema history: The cheerful and decidedly feminist comedy Wives became a box-office success, and made editor of International Film Guide, Peter Cowie, refer to Breien as a dogme-director twenty years ahead of time. The film also spurred to popular sequels; Wives – Ten Years After (1985) and Wives III (1995), examining the lives of the characters of the original film ten and twenty years on. Wives – Ten Years After was also awarded the Norwegian National Film Award Amanda for Best Film of 1985. After the critical acclaim and commercial success of the first Wives-film in 1975, Breien was firmly established as one of the leading directors in Norwegian cinema, a position she further cemented in the following years, directing critically hailed films like Games of Love and Loneliness (1977) and Next of Kin (1979), the latter of which was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival. Her 1981 drama Witch Hunt was selected for the Venice Film Festival, and the thriller Paper Bird (1984) further displayed Breien’s proficiency across genres. In addition to directing numerous feature films of significance, Breien has also established herself as a director of perhaps equally important short and documentary films, through her entire career. In addition to her early short, more recent films such as Solvorn (1997), To See a Boat in Sails (2000), Untitled – Sans tître (2005), Etching (2009), and Yezidi (2009) have all been screened at international festivals.

Filmography

1970 Ansikter (Faces) – A Film about Edvard Munch (short)
1971 Rape | Voldtekt
1972 The Walls around the Prison | Murer rundt fengselet (short doc)
1974 Brothers and Sisters, Hello | Mine søsken, goddag – en film om Arne Bendik Sjurs grafikk (short)
1975 Wives | Hustruer
1977 Games of Love and Loneliness | Den allvarsamma leken (Un jeu sérieux
1979 Next of Kin | Arven
1981 Witch Hunt | Forfølgelsen
1984 Paper Bird | Papirfuglen
1985 Wives, Ten Years After | Hustruer 10 år etter
1990 Twice Upon A Time | Smykketyven
1996 Wives III | Hustruer III
2001 To See a Boat in Sail | Å se en båt med seil (short)
2005 Untitled | Uten tittel (short)
2009 Yezidi | Jezidi