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Bille August to Direct ‘The Pact,’ About Karen Blixen’s Relationship With Young Poet

Blixen Danish author Baroness Karen Blixen
Robert Goldberg/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Bille August (“Pelle the Conqueror”), one of Denmark’s best known filmmakers, is set to direct “The Pact,” a psychological drama about the intense friendship between Karen Blixen, the Danish author best known for her autobiographical novel “Out of Africa,” and Thorkild Bjønvig, a young and promising poet.

“The Pact” was written by Christian Torpe, based on Bjørnvig’s autobiography of the same name.

Torpe previously wrote August’s “Silent Heart,” which won the Silver Seashell at San Sebastian in 2014. “The Pact” is produced by Jesper Morthorst at MOTOR and SF Studios, which will release the film theatrically in early 2021.

“‘The Pact’ is a relationship drama, the eternal story of seduction and wanting to be seduced, of the art of manipulation, of guilt and innocence, of a highly unusual friendship between two deeply talented people and a relationship that develops into a fateful bond,” said August, whose credits include the Palme D’Or-winning films “Pelle the Conqueror” and “The Best Intentions.”

“A dramatic tale of a dangerous pact and of the unmanageable consequences of an inevitable dependency relationship, a thrilling connection between two of Denmark’s greatest personalities,” added August.

Bjørnvig first met Blixen in 1948 when he was 30 and she was 63. While Bjørnvig was an easily influenced poet with a wife and child, he formed a secret bond with Blixen, who fascinated him.

“Blixen and Bjørnvig had promised each other to first tell the world about their pact when either one of them were dead. Twelve years after Blixen’s death, Bjørnvig published the book ‘The Pact’ about his and Blixen’s special and turbulent relationship, said SF Studios in a release.

Blixen’s autobiographical book “Out of Africa” was adapted by Sydney Pollack into the 1985 pic starring Meryl Streep (as Blixen) and Robert Redford. Blixen is also the protagonist of “The Lioness,” an international feature film and a miniseries currently in development at Nordisk Film based on two upcoming books by acclaimed author and historian Tom Buk-Swienty.