A sensitive and worthy if long (145 minutes) and occasionally dull account of a young Jewish woman (Karen-Lise Mynster) in Copenhagen at the end of the 19th century, Liv Ullmann’s directorial debut is her own adaptation (cowritten by Peter Poulsen) of Henri Nathansen’s 1932 Danish novel Mendel Philipsen & Son. The title heroine falls in love with a Christian painter (Jesper Christensen) who paints her parents’ portrait, but her family frowns on the match and forces her into a marriage with her cousin (Torben Zeller), a dull Orthodox Jew. After a move to the Swedish countryside, she has a son and her husband gradually descends into madness. The most interesting and accomplished performance here is given by Erland Josephson as Sofie’s father, but Ullmann does a creditable job with all the actors and the period settings are well handled (1992). (JR)

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