This year’s program consists of 16 films of great variety in genres and themes and are selected from the Danish Film Institute’s special EU-presidency film box set Danish Cinema – Cultural Impact.
Below you can read short synopses for each film and watch trailers by clicking the links. Hopefully there is something for your taste but that being said we would also like to encourage to an open mind and to take a chance!
And please … if you like what you see, tell it to your friends and family.
Natasha Arthy, 2007, 100 min.
Aïcha, a high-school student, is a passionate kung fu fighter. Her Turkish parents expect her to get good grades so she can get into medical school, like her brother Ali. But school doesn't inspire her. Defying her family, Aïcha starts secretly training at a professional, co-ed kung fu club. A boy, Emil, helps Aïcha train for the club championship and they fall in love. But the rules of life are not as simple as the rules of kung fu, and Aïcha is forced to decide who she is and what she wants.
14.15 KARLA & JONAS
Charlotte Sachs Bostrup, 2010, 85 min.
Karla, 13, takes pity on her friend, the orphaned Jonas who doesn't have a 'real' family. Inspired by the television programme 'Without a Trace', Karla accompanies Jonas on an exciting, but dangerous journey to a big city, where they believe they will find Jonas' biological mother.
16.00 THE SUBSTITUTE
Ole Bornedal, 2007, 93 min.
6th Grade gets a new substitute teacher. She wants to train the class for an international competition in Paris. But something isn't right. How is she able read kids' minds? Why is she so mean? And how does she manage to convince everyone's parents she is so great when the whole class knows she is really an alien?
16.15 VALHALLA RISING
Nicolas Winding Refn, 2010, 90 min.
For years, One-Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the chieftain Barde. Aided by a boy, Are, he kills his captor and together they escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness.
Thomas Vinterberg, 2010, 110 min.
Category: Drama/social realism
A story about two estranged brothers, marked by a childhood of gloom. They were separated from each other at a young age by a tragedy that split their entire family. Today, Nick's life is drenched in alcohol and plagued by violence, while his kid brother, a solo-parent, struggles as a junkie to give his son a better life. Their paths cross, making a confrontation inevitable, but is redemption possible?
18.15 WALTZING REGITZE
Kaspar Rostrup, 1989, 87 min.
An Academy Award nominee, »Waltzing Regitze« tells of a working class marriage that has survived all obstacles because true love and mutual respect always prevailed. Tempestuous Regitze and conformist Karl Aage live through wartime hardships and familial upheavals and are now preparing for their annual summer party over which the shadow of tragedy is suddenly cast.
20.00 HUNGER ("Sult")
Henning Carlsen, 1966, 111 min.
Pontus, a young penniless poet, wanders about in 1890 in Oslo, freezing and in search of love and work while trying to preserve his self-respect and integrity. A newspaper editor offers to publish an article by him, but Pontus is too proud to receive an advance payment. When he cannot pay his rent, his landlord throws him out. Hunger exhausts him and blurs the boundary between fantasy and reality. »Hunger« is based on Knut Hamsun's novel.
20.15 THE PRESIDENT
Christoffer Guldbrandsen, 2011, 59 min.
The incisive and unsettling story about the man who became the first President of Europe … against his own will. Told in a charged and unflinching manner by current and former heads of state, »The President« shows how Europe got its first president and offers stunning insight into why the EU, time and again, fails whenever big decisions have to be made.
19.00 WE SHALL OVERCOME
Niels Arden Oplev, 2006, 110 min.
13-year-old Frits has fallen out of favour with the headmaster of his provincial school. The year is 1969. The world is changing rapidly and corporal punishment has been banned. The tyrannical headmaster, however, hasn't bothered to notice. Frits spends his summer holidays watching the family's first television, and is influenced by the winds of change. Martin Luther King's speeches and dreams of a better life have armoured Frits with courage and the desire for rebellion. When the headmaster steps over the line during punishing Frits, the boy takes up battle against the authorities. The story is based on actual events.
Janus Metz, 2010, 100 min.
»Armadillo« is an upfront account of growing cynicism and adrenaline addiction in young soldiers at war. Mads and Daniel are serving their first mission in Helmand, Afghanistan. Their platoon is stationed in Camp Armadillo, right on the Helmand frontline, fighting tough battles against the Talebans. The soldiers are there to help the Afghans, but as fighting gets tougher and operations increasingly hairy, Mads, Daniel and their friends becomes cynical, widening the gap between themselves and the Afghan civilisation. Mistrust and paranoia set in causing alienation and disillusion.
21.00 BABETTE'S FEAST
Gabriel Axel, 1987, 103 min.
A Parisian fugitive from the 1871 Commune of Paris uprising, Babette, a fine cook, is taken into the poor fishing village home of two puritanical spinsters who consider food beyond oatmeal almost sinful. When Babette by chance comes into money, she blows it all on serving up the ultimate gourmet meal for the dazed villagers. Based on the Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) tale. 1988 Best Foreign Film Academy Award winner.
21.15 INTO ETERNITY
Michael Madsen, 2010, 75 min.
Every day, the world over, large amounts of high level radioactive waste are placed in interim storages which are vulnerable to natural or manmade disasters. In Finland the world's first permanent storage is being constructed — a huge system of underground tunnels hewn out of solid rock. It is essential that it lasts 100.000 years, as this is how long the waste remains hazardous. When the waste has been deposited, the facility will be sealed off, never to be reopened. But can we ensure that? How is it possible to warn our descendants of the waste we left behind? How can we prevent them from thinking they have found the pyramids of our time, mystical burial grounds, hidden treasures? Which languages and signs will they understand, and if they understand, will they respect our instructions?
19.00 A SUNDAY IN HELL ("En forårsdag i helvede")
Jørgen Leth, 1977, 111 min.
Director and poet Jørgen Leth is amongst other things obsessed with bicycle racing as a ritual expression of human victory and defeat, and from this obsession he made the unique »A Sunday in Hell«. The Sunday in question is April 11, 1976, when the classic and grueling annual bicycle race Paris-Roubaix was held, and Hell is the cobblestone field roads of Northern France where the champions of bicycle racing battle for victory. With an army of photographers, Jørgen Leth followed the race in all of its details, and he has edited the footage into a mythic and documentary spectacular.
19.10 A FAMILY
Pernille Fischer Christensen, 2010, 104 min.
Ditte (Lene Maria Christensen) owns a gallery, has a loving boyfriend (Pilou Asbæk) and her dream job in New York is within reach. But Ditte is also the youngest generation of the famous bakery dynasty, Rheinwald, and when her beloved, but dominating father (Jesper Christensen) comes down with a serious illness, Ditte is faced with the grueling decision: To pursue her own dreams, or to continue the legacy of her family. »A Family« is a moving and modern story about complicated family ties, the new wife, the new kids - and about following your dreams to find your own place in history.
Lars von Trier, 2009, 104 min.
A grieving couple retreat to 'Eden', their isolated cabin in the woods, where they hope to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse ...
21.15 THE GOOD LIFE
Eva Mulvad, 2010, 86 min.
Two women, mother and daughter, live on the sunny Portuguese coast. They have been exceptionally healthy all their lives and have relished the ‘good life’. There has been ample pleasure and a total absence of work. Now, however, they have one big problem. Their wealth has run out. How do they now cope with a life of poverty after having been born into wealth? How do they manage to find a job and keep it, when nobody in the family has ever worked? And who is to blame now that the sweet and dreamy life has turned into a nightmare?
Selected for IDFA's Feature Length Competition, 2010.
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Martin Thorup Nielsen