Barbara | Chicago Reader

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The title character of this 1997 Danish historical drama is a familiar one, the beautiful but insatiable woman who can't remain faithful, and while Anneke von der Lippe is gently appealing as Barbara, she never communicates the passions governing her behavior. Yet the scenery is spectacular: director Nils Malmros presents the treeless landscape of Denmark's Faroe Islands in studied, painterly images, stressing its similarity to the expanses of sea and sky. These images never quite flow together cinematically, but Malmros has a good feel for the life of this secluded colony, where a ship's arrival is a major event in the islanders' lives.

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