The Juniper Tree is an austere, black and white 1986 Icelandic art house film based on one of the grimmer of the German fairy tales collected the by Brothers Grimm. The five-member cast includes a then twenty-year-old Björk Guðmundsdóttir. The film wasn’t released until 1990, by which point, of course, the singer was an internationally known artist. It was premiered at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival where it screened for the “Grand Jury Prize.”
The Juniper Tree tells the story of two sisters who have escaped after their mother has been stoned and burned as a witch. Baby-faced Björk plays teenaged Margit, who comes along when her sister bewitches and marries a widower with a young son.
The film is plotted and paced in a manner that demands careful attention. If you just pay it half-mind, you won’t appreciate what it has to offer, but if you give it your undivided attention, it’s quite a fascinating (and skillfully made considering the obviously low budget) little film.
Thank you Linc Kinnicutt!