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Oscar-winning Danish filmmaker Gabriel Axel dies at 95

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Filmmaker Gabriel Axel, the first Dane to win an Oscar for best foreign language film, has died aged 95, Danish media said Monday.

Axel was best known for his film "Babette's Feast", which won the Oscar in 1988.

He died Sunday at his home in Bagsvaerd near Copenhagen, according to Danish public broadcaster DR, where his daughter is a journalist.

The movie was based on a story by Danish author Karen Blixen, who also wrote "Out of Africa", famously adapted to the screen by Sydney Pollack.

"Babette's Feast" features Danish, French and Swedish actors and portrays the lives of two old Danish spinsters and their French maid in the Danish countryside in the 19th century.

The plot initially did not sound very appealing to the producers, and the film came close to never seeing the light of day.

In 2010, Argentine cardinal Jorge Bergoglio -- later to become Pope Francis -- told journalists that "Babette's Feast" was his favourite film.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140210/oscar-winning-danish-filmmaker-gabriel-axel-dies-at-95