Sonja - The White Swan

Institute History

  • 2019 Sundance Film Festival


Before there were the Ice Capades, there was Sonja Henie. In 1936, Henie has three Olympic gold medals and 10 world-championship wins under her belt, and she is about to tour America in her first stadium-style show, replete with sparkly costumes and spectacular set pieces. Once in Los Angeles, she decides to try her hand at acting. Initially doubted by studio executives, Sonja quickly proves her worth and becomes one of the most highly paid actresses of her time.

Veteran Sundance Film Festival director Anne Sewitsky (Homesick; Happy, Happy) captures the grandiose rise and fall of Sonja’s career with an intimacy that pushes beyond traditional biopic conventions. Ine Marie Wilmann is electric on and off the ice as Sonja, embodying her character’s transformation from the happy-go-lucky “Maiden from Norway” to the cruel, untrusting Sonja of Hollywood. Grounded in the sexism and double standards of the time, Sonja - The White Swan dives under the glossy veneer of Hollywood movie magic to reveal the greed and jealousy that lie beneath its icy surface.

— A.D.

Screening Details

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