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The Bench (2000)
"Bænken" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,935 users  
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Kaj is an alcoholic living on the money the Danish state is providing him. Him and his friends spend their time drinking beer at a public bench. One day Kaj's life turns upside down when a young lady and her child moves in next to him.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marius Sonne Janischefska ...
Stine Holm Joensen ...
Connie (as Sarah Kjærgaard Boberg)
Benjamin Boe Rasmussen ...
Lars Ranthe ...
Holger Perfort ...
Hr. Nandrup
Britta Lillesøe ...
John Martinus ...
Petrine Agger ...
Ann Kristine Schmidt ...
Kims Nabo


Kaj is an alcoholic living on the money the Danish state is providing him. Him and his friends spend their time drinking beer at a public bench. One day Kaj's life turns upside down when a young lady and her child moves in next to him.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 October 2000 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A pad  »

Box Office


$1,152,925 (Denmark) (27 April 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Director Per Fly originally came up with the idea of making the film after reading an article by the leader of charity organization Kirkens Korshær about poverty and social problems in Denmark. As part of his later research he intensely followed the work of a social counselor for some time. He based the film's characters on the people he saw and met during that period. See more »


Kaj's name on the letterbox reappears after he has destroyed it. See more »


Referenced in Bodilfesten 2001 (2001) See more »


Requiem (sanctus)
Lithurgy Vol. 1
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Koka Classic
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User Reviews

Coherence wanted..
14 December 2010 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

The movie is worth watching due to the acting of Jesper Christensen, who was rewarded greatly afterwards for his performance. Also smaller parts by Jens Albinus and Lars Brygmann are worth noticing.

The film lacks the simple ingredient: coherence, which is partially down to the terrible acting by Stine Holm Joensen (the daughter). And due her importance to the story this ruins a lot, especially the credibility of her character.

She also coincidentally moves in right next to her alcoholic father whom she hasn't seen for 19 years which doesn't exactly give the start of the film nor the storyline a lot of credibility either.

The development of the alcoholic Kaj might seem realistic from an objective point of view but because the actions preceding this development are non effectual you lose faith in the story. It is the sudden reoccurring of his daughter that ruins his daily routines and makes him act out of nature. Everything that happens to him throughout the movie is down to his daughter and grandson, the transition between father and daughter is therefore very important but unfortunately Stine Holm Joensen isn't convincing. The story has potential and could have been very great, especially considering the simplicity and originality of the film. BUT as successful an approach this might seem it also harms the film because it adds pressure and emphasis on the storyline and the acting, which the film simply isn't strong enough to carry. I actually laughed more than I was moved (mostly down to some really funny and clever lines) but I wasn't moved at times when I was supposed to. I didn't like the music of the film either. The red thread of it was confusing; Should one; cry, laugh, be excited? The film is recommendable of course - Not everyone would share my critical views, and the amazing acting, after all, from Jesper Christensen is worth watching. Too many mistakes though (acting, story/plot)in important scenes and sequences is enough to ruin it, for me at least. 5 1/2 out of 10

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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