Review of “Balettprimadonnan” (1916)

Moving picture, 54 minutes

Seen in 2019.

Seen in the best available Swedish restoration that existed in 2019, at Cinemateket, with live piano. This 35-minute copy represents about half of the original film, supplemented with stills and explanatory notes.

Talentless, evil old people interfere with the love of talented, artistic, beautiful young people.

The story is trash and the melodramatic execution does not seem very impressive. I suppose it’s notable for the mix of cosmopolitanism and Nordic cultural emblems that would launch the Swedish golden age of cinema.

The choice of naming the male lead, a violinist, “Wolo Czawienko”, suggests a Romani origin. The entire film was named for this character in its foreign release, yet the beginning and ending place him and the female lead, yet-more mysteriously named Anjuta (Anjala in English version) in an open birch forest grazed by sheep and therefore quite lifeless and bright. The rest is mukokuseki.

References here: En kärlekshistoria (1970).

moving picture fiction