ONLY BELLE / BARE BELLE
Brynhild Paulsdatter Størsetgjerdet, better known as Belle Gunness, was born in 1859 in Selbu, Norway. After moving to the United States, she became one of the most notorious female serial killers of all time. It is estimated that she murdered between 40 and 70 people, but she was never tried or sentenced for any of these crimes. As the net closed in around her, she arranged her own "death" and disappeared without a trace.
Director Anne Berit Vestby, a native of the same small village in Norway, follows Belle's tracks from Selbu to Chicago. Drawing on archival newspapers and featuring authentic photos, the story Vestby recounts turns out to be wilder and more gruesome than you can imagine.
WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY
«A good scare»
Dagbladet, Mikael Godø
«A chilling experience from the old days»
Aftenposten, Per Haddal
Video Librarian, F. Swietek
IN THE MEDIA
17.11.2015: Vi lever i en psykopatisk kultur (Namdalsavisa)
05.04.2014: Belle kan ha fått seriemordhjelp frå sheriffen (NRK)
04.04.2014: Vellykket Belle-kveld på Granby (NEA Radio)
15.03.2014: Kvinner som dreper (Side3)
23.06.2006: Bestialske Belle (VG)
Belle Gunness (SNL)
Belle Gunness (Murderpedia)
Belle Gunness (Wikiwand)
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"I heard about Belle Gunness from my grandparents when I was a child on holiday in Selbu, her hometown. When I grew up I started to look into the story. Today, the only film made about Belle Gunness is this one, although attempts have been made. It took good detective work to find the pieces of the story. I had an advantage by having roots in Selbu, and the ability to find out what happened in her childhood. In Norwegian Wikipedia, someone has copied every word from the film. The film was very successful reaching people around the globe.
The use of text boards was unusual at that time the film was released, but I found it a good way to tell the old-time story. I met with a lot of criticism for the photography of the film, but it was a choice I took. I easily could have edited the bad photo work away but decided to keep the rugged style to give it a road movie feeling. Therefore the humps and bumps are never concealed.
I am currently digging deeper into the story and preparing a book. It took time and research to find out what really happened with Belle Gunness. I have the answers now."
Original title: Bare Belle - En seriemorder fra Selbu
Director: Anne Berit Vestby
Producer: Anne Berit Vestby
Photo: Anne Berit Vestby
Editor: Arild Tryggestad
Music: Bim and Bianca
Production year: 2006
Production company: SubrosaFilm AS
Distribution: Scanbox (Scandinavia), National Film Network (USA)
Aired on: TV2 (Norway), Yle-FST (Finland), Documentary Channel (New Zealand)
Financed by: TV2 (v/ Vebjørn Hagen), YLE FST Co-productions (v/ Jenny Westergård), Nordic Film and TV Fund (v/ Eva Færevaag), Norwegian Film Institute (NFI, v/ Peter Bøe)