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At their 25th high-school anniversary some bourgeois citizens remember their time in school as a happy one. In reality it was quite the contrary. The school was a madhouse in which the teachers, especially Blomme, tormented the students. As a result one of them became a murderer. Written by
An enjoyable dramatisation of a famous Danish novel
"Det forsømte forår" is a film of the classic Danish novel of the same title by Hans Scherfig, published in 1940 and since then common cultural cargo in Denmark. It is about the old school system with physical punishment and little care for the lives of the young students.
Peter Schrøder, a well-known Danish actor and director, has made a very good film out of it, now almost a classic itself. It is strong and amusing and has a cast of wonderful actors, young as well as old. Especially the portraits of the school teachers are wonderful in all their neuroticity, including Frits Helmuth in one of his best film roles as the sadistic Lektor Blomme.
Several times throughout the film, the director turns to dream-like images, trying to capture for example the great ego of Lektor Blomme. I am doubtful about this technique, and the film certainly works best for me in the more realistic scenes filmed on location in Copenhagen schools.
Readers of the book will notice that the director has chosen to place the story differently in time. Here, the students are looking back to the 1960s from the 1990s, whereas the book from 1940 looked back at early twentieth century. Is it really fair to say that things were the same in Danish schools in the 1960s as fifty years before?
Even so, this is a recommendable work of fiction with a strong story which can be enjoyed repeatedly.
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