Babette’s Feast Movie Discussion Questions

Small Group Study / Produced by partner of TOW
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For a Bible Study that relates to the movie Babette's Feast see The Generosity of God Small Group Study. These movie discussion questions are part of the Generous Hospitality at Work Small Group Curriculum.

Watch Babette's Feast (1987) 102 minutes

Summary: In a small, remote fishing village on the northern coast of Norway, live two sisters. Martine and Philippa are part of a small devout Christian sect, founded by their long-departed father. On a wet night in 1871 a French woman knocks on their door, seeking refuge from troubles in her homeland. The kindly sisters reluctantly take her in and in exchange for lodgings, Babette cooks for them. However, it is not until years later that the truth of the Frenchwoman's previous life comes to light. And in a remarkable act of generosity, the Babette hosts a meal that brings reconciliation to the small faith community.

Based on a short story by Isak Dinesen (also the author of Out of Africa) the movie draws on themes of hospitality, community, and gratitude.

  • What impacts you most from the story of Babette's Feast?
  • Have you ever been treated to a fine meal that you didn't really appreciate? Or an act of generosity you struggled to accept because of your values?
  • Why do you think the faith of the two sisters (and their fellow church members) caused them to believe anything but the plainest food was sinful and extravagant? How did Babette respond to this?
  • Why do you think Babette decided to stay in the village and blow her lottery winnings on an extravagant meal – when she knew this might go unappreciated as well as resulting in her having to stay?
  • The small sect was ridden with old grievances and resentments. Why might a meal such as Babette's feast have caused the healing of such relational divisions? Do you think this was part of Babette's hope for the feast, or was it merely a way for her to express her gratitude for their hospitality?
  • What does the movie indicate to us about the nature of Babette's approach to work? What can we learn from Babette in regard to our own attitude to work?
  • Read Luke 9: 10-17 (the feeding of the masses). What impacts you most about this story? Why do you think the miracle worker over-catered (verse 17) and what might this suggest about God's nature?

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