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.
Marius Sonne Janischefska,
Stine Holm Joensen
How far would decent human beings be willing to go, when tragedy blurs the line between just and unjust? With "A Second Chance", Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen have crafted another ... See full summary »
Nikolaj Lie Kaas
A hairdresser who has lost her hair to cancer finds out her husband is having an affair, travels to Italy for her daughter's wedding and meets a widower who still blames the world for the loss of his wife.
Four small-time gangsters from Copenhagen trick a gangster boss: they take over 4,000,000 kroner which they were supposed to bring him. Trying to escape to Barcelona they are forced to stop... See full summary »
Svend and Bjarne work for a butcher in a small Danish town. Fed up with their boss' arrogance, they decide to start their own butcher shop. After dismal beginnings, an unfortunate accident ... See full summary »
Anders Thomas Jensen
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
Michael has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik is a drifter, living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is missing in action - presumed dead - and Sarah is comforted by Jannik, who against all odds shows himself capable of taking responsibility for both himself and the family. It soon becomes clear that their feelings have developed beyond mutual sympathy. When Michael comes home, traumatized by being held prisoner in the mountains of Afghanistan, nothing is the same... Written by
Along with Kongekabale (2004), this was the most successful and best reviewed Danish film of the year in its native country. However, neither of these two films was submitted by Denmark to the Oscars in the Foreign Language Film category. The Danish jury decided to send a documentary film, De fem benspænd (2003), which had only been attended by 12,532 people in Danish theaters. This story made headlines, and Danish film producers officially stated that they would force the jury to pick Brødre (2004) or "Kongekabale" instead. The jury, however, did not change their minds, and "De fem benspænd" was sent to the Oscars. It was not among the eventual nominees. "Brødre" later won several awards across the world, including at the Sundance Film Festival, and opened to stellar reviews in the US. The jury later admitted that they possibly chose the wrong film to send to the Oscars that year. See more »
Sarah's pink scarf disappears and reappears several times in one of the scenes in the kitchen. See more »
I will always love you. That is the only truth that remains. Life is neither right nor wrong, good or bad. But I love you. That's all I know.
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It's rare to find a movie with a meaningful, political context that is also good drama. Brødre / Brothers has two interwoven story lines: one about the relationship between two brothers, the other about the difference between comfortable Western civilizations sending out soldiers to various missions and the actual war zones. These stories mirror each other and both brothers change roles during the movie: One starts in prison, the other ends up there; one is a family man; the other takes over this role after his brother's death. There is a nice ending, but I find that the only element not fitting the overall structure.
I like this also because it is well edited. Synchronization of images is used to tell the story of Michael in Afghanistan and Sarah in Denmark. Frequently a shot of Afghanistan is shown and directly followed by the same shot in Denmark: looking at a road, from a bus or car, etc.
Initially rhythm is established through a central 'Afghan' theme song. Once the characters are established in our minds, the acting takes over. I'm still wondering why Danish actors (and Scandinavian actors in general) are so good in what they do: Is that a compulsory subject in primary school there because even the children act so unbelievably natural.
The ethical dilemmas facing soldiers are well presented. Michael first has to demonstrate how a launcher works, knowing it will be used against his own people. Then comes the ultimate decision. The traumas he faces are real and reminded me of actual, similar stories of soldiers returning from Bosnia, Afghanistan or Iraq.
Susanne Bier has come out of the Dogme-movement as one of the better directors. In a world with not that many (talented) female directors she is someone to be cherished.
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