When revolution breaks out in her native country, French refugee Babette appears at the door of two sisters in Jutland, Denmark. She carries a letter from an old friend of one of the sisters, and she seeks shelter in exchange for performing domestic work, including cooking. The sisters accept, though running a parish they inherited from their father, they are used to a diet of dried fish and fairly plain food that reflects their outlook and devout faith. Fancy, succulent French cookery is not their style, and they do fear its potentially soul-corrupting influence. The film delves into each sister’s past.
The film is based on a short story by Isak Dinesen. Dinesen is most famous for her memoir, Out of Africa. Coincidentally, it too was made into a film in the 1980s, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
TRIVIA: Denmark has no official independence or national day.