Astrid Henning-Jensen, 87; Award-Winning Director of Social Films

Astrid Henning-Jensen, 87, an award-winning Danish director of social dramas whose 1959 movie “Paw” was nominated for an Academy Award, died of undisclosed causes Monday in a Copenhagen retirement home.

Henning-Jensen, who continued working into her 80s, directed two dozen films, many of which focused on women and children.

She began her career as an actress but turned to directing in 1949 with the movie “Palle Alone in the World,” which won the Cannes Film Festival’s Special Prize that year.

The film, based on a children’s book, was released in the United States in 1954.


Her 1959 movie “Paw,” which was known in English as “Boy of Two Worlds” and deals with a rural boy who experienced discrimination when he moved to a city, earned an Oscar nomination as best foreign-language film.

Henning-Jensen’s 1978 film “Winterborn,” a social drama about life in a maternity ward, was considered one of the best movies of the decade in Denmark.