Unbearable scenes of infanticide: a film inspired by a fearsome serial killer is the talk of Cannes

Unbearable scenes of infanticide: a film inspired by a fearsome serial killer is the talk of Cannes
Unbearable scenes of infanticide: a film inspired by a fearsome serial killer is the talk of Cannes

Swedish-Polish director Magnus Von Horn is in the running for the Palme d’Or with The young woman with the needlean experimental period film set against a backdrop of infanticide and unbearable scenes for experienced audiences.

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Filmed entirely in black and white, this third feature film by von Horn is inspired by one of the most fearsome female serial killers in Danish history in the 1910s, Dagmar Overbye.

Sentenced to life in prison, she murdered dozens of infants in Copenhagen, burning them in furnaces.

The film, set in Copenhagen in 1918, delves into the bottomless decline of Karoline, a worker who became pregnant by the boss of her factory and is prey to dilemmas surrounding this motherhood.

This black and white tale of female learning takes the viewer into a reflection on monstrosity.

It is “a national trauma which resonates through time and which can still remind us today of what happens when we close our eyes to the horrors of society”, commented the filmmaker in a press release .

During a screening in Cannes, several people left the room, after extremely trying passages, notably around a scene of needle abortion or the murder of infants who scream in pain.

The Danish cast, made up of Vic Carmen Sonne and Trine Dyrholm, confirms the 40-year-old director’s interest in cinema without borders after a first film in Swedish (The day after) and a second in Polish (Sweatshirt).

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