The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen: The Birth of a Novelist on OCS

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“The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen” is a biographical series on OCS which tells the story of the late and challenging emergence of Danish novelist Karen Blixen as a writer at the age of 47. It is a poetic biographical series that draws on the author’s gothic short stories from “Out of Africa” to narrate her late embrace of writing.

Unlike the epic scope of the film adaptation of Karen Blixen’s novel “Out of Africa” starring Meryl Streep, this biographical series depicts her painful resurrection as a divorced and destitute woman, forced to live off her family who had been affected by the 1929 crash. Diminished by depression and the death of her beloved, she becomes an outcast, mocked by her family for her literary ambitions.

Despite no publisher in Copenhagen wanting to read her prose, she seeks them out in London and the United States. The idea for the series came from the Scandinavian actress Connie Nielsen, who discovered a painting by Karen Blixen at the author’s house, prompting her to develop the series based on the life of the writer.

The series addresses the origins of Karen Blixen’s literary vocation, which saved her and the struggles she faced from childhood, marked by tragedy with her father’s suicide. Connie Nielsen, the actress and producer, aimed to avoid the “academism of biopics and their tendency towards romanticism” and drew heavily from Blixen’s correspondence and gothic short stories, particularly one titled “The Dreamers”, to portray her state of mind and creative process.

The series brings to life orientalist and adventure tales in a fantasmagorical atmosphere, reminiscent of Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi”. Blixen is depicted as a sensual and languid writer, showing that it is never too late for a new beginning.

The emaciated silhouette transforms into a radiant woman and a literary genius before our eyes.

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