On Friday we had the pleasure of watching the film Babette’s Feast. The movie takes place in 19th century Denmark. It is about two sisters, Martine and Philippa, who have been involved with the Protestant church their entire lives, their father was the pastor and they chose to remain with their father and the church instead of leaving the village. When the sisters are older and their father has passed, Babette Hersant, a young French woman arrives at their door and begs the women to take her in and she would be their housekeeper/maid.
Years go by and the sisters decide to have a dinner in honor of their father; Babette insisted on cooking and paying for the dinner. She planned on making a “real French dinner” and had her nephew get supplies from Paris. It was interesting to see how different a French meal was from the Danish meal the sisters usually ate; the French meal consisted of lots of meats and wine, but the Danish meal was usually soaking everything in water for a while.
The movie was slow pace until the dinner when the guest were talking louder and the work Babette put into the meal was more emphasized with quicker movements. There was no electricity so the only light source was candles and lamps that set the mood to very intimate and dramatic. The guests were uncertain to eat the meal at first because of how different it was; eventually the guest had no problem asking for seconds on food and wine. The dinner appeared to connect the people of the village in a new and different way; in the beginning they quietly spoke to the person sitting next to them but by the end they seemed more open and cheerful, the wine most likely had something to do with this.
The table set up was very elegant with white china dishes and crystal glasses. There were tall white candles in the center of the table that burned slowly through out the entire dinner. The light from the center piece candles shed there light on the food and the table and reflected off of the crystal to create a real sense of a French dinner.