OXEN (1991)

Film details

Alternative titles

  • The OX Alternative


Set in rural Sweden, Christmas 1868. Frantic at the hungry cries of his baby daughter, Helge slaughters an ox belonging to his employer. No one finds out but Helge confesses to the local pastor who takes him to court while assuring him he will be dealt with leniently. Instead Helge is sentenced to life imprisonment, leaving his wife and daughter destitute. Helge's wife turns to prostitution to survive. When Helge is finally released five years later, after the pastor has petitioned on his behalf, he goes back to a reunion with his wife but has to cope with the fact she now has an illegitimate son. The pastor urges him to accept the boy, who could not help how he came into the world.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top