1848, St. Croix, the Danish West Indies.
Anna (Anna Neye) and Petrine (Sara Fanta Traore) are close friends. Both are women of colour, but their living conditions are very different. Anna is free and owns the enslaved Petrine. Anna shares her life with Danish Governor General Peter von Scholten at her country house, where she manages the home, her fortune, and her beloved and trusted housekeeper Petrine.
Things are seemingly fine until rumors of a rebellion begin to swirl. Which side are Anna and Petrine really on – and is it the same?
Direct from the 2023 Göteborg Film Festival, Empire was conceived and written by Anna Neye, who also stars in the film’s lead role and directed by Frederikke Aspöck. A mix of earnest drama and absurd comedy, it deliberately places female Afro-Caribbean characters at the centre of the story. Exploring power dynamics and human interdependence, Empire delivers a challenge to Denmark’s romanticised vision of its past.