One of my favorite film characters is Babette Hertsard (played by Stéphane Audran) in the Danish film Babette's Feast (won Academy Award for best foriegn language film 1988).
In the story Babette is a political refuge from Paris who escapes to Denmark were she is given board with a pair of elderly women who are part of a very austere Christian sect. Babette is an excellent chef by trade, but this is a secret to her boarders who teach her to cook bland, simple, and affordable meals that mirror their lifestyle. Yet when a unique opportunity arises Babette is given the opportunity to make these women and the small community they live in a meal of a lifetime.
The little fable that unwinds in this film is beautiful and has it's own subtle influences on my life. I remember the first time I saw this film, it unlocked a sensation with me that connected to the plight of Babette. I want to be like Babette in a way that I could help people see goodness, beauty, and God through beautiful things. There is a place for denial of desires, and the shunning of sin. Yet there must be ways that we can direct people towards God through beauty, and not just herd people to him by blocking off everything else.
This post is part of Emma's "performances that changed your life" series at All About My Movies. It just happens to be I have recently been talking about the fictional French chef Remy and posting French recipes. Who knows, maybe I just like movies about food?
Related Tags: Babettes Feast, Stéphane Audran, food, French, Paris, Chef, Movies, Danish, Foreign Film