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The Early Years: Erik Nietzsche Part 1 (2007)
"De unge år: Erik Nietzsche sagaen del 1" (original title)

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Erik Nietzsche is an intelligent but in many ways inexperienced shy young man who is convinced that he wants to be a film director. In the late 1970s, Erik is accepted by the Danish ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonatan Spang ...
Carl Martin Norén ...
Therese Damsgaard ...
Mille Lehfeldt ...
Margrethe (as Mille Hoffmeyer Lehfeldt)
Line Bie Rosenstjerne ...
Malin Brolin-Tani ...
Hans Jørgen
Narrator (voice)
Troels Højbjerg
Thomas Bendixen ...
Kristian Boland ...


Erik Nietzsche is an intelligent but in many ways inexperienced shy young man who is convinced that he wants to be a film director. In the late 1970s, Erik is accepted by the Danish National Film School where he enters a world of angry and unhelpful tutors, weird fellow students and unwritten rules. In this both exhilarating and angst-provoking period for him, Erik feels increasingly like a foreigner in the film industry. Frequently, he is merely an observer of the absurdities that surround him. He encounters trade union disputes, falls in love and experiences self-assured empowered women who refuse to make a commitment. The film is a drama full of comedy - a sharp portrait of a conceited but entertaining world of film which we suspect our dogged young director will eventually conquer with his vision. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

25 December 2007 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Erik Nietzsche - De unga åren  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lone Scherfig was to direct the film, but conflicting schedules made her step back and Lars von Trier handed the script to Jacob Thuesen instead. See more »


The film takes place in 1979, but the Volvo 240 series shown at the beginning was not built until 1982. See more »

Crazy Credits

Script credit goes to Erik Nietzsche who is the fictive main character. See more »


References Tree of Knowledge (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

A Loving(?) Tribute to Film School Machinations
18 October 2010 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Lars Von Trier was a notorious infant terriblé at his Danish film school, a mini Mussolini who felt compelled from an early age to drain the swamp of traditional Danish cinema with its age old reliance on "folksy" comedies. But twenty some years later he acknowledges his own foibles with this biting but sweet satire of film school machinations and the cement-headed teachers and state-employed film "consultants" that arbitrarily provide the funds and subsidies the small and always hard-pressed industry lives by here. But his alter ego, Erik is no cynical critic or ultra-ambitious manipulator, but instead a naive youth, unwilling or unable to conspire in order to get ahead - something Von Trier apparently never found distasteful or problematic. Von Trier has always been fueled by an ambiguity, his need to both elevate and castigate women, his knowledge of having to live in a world of fools and his remorse for his monumental sense of superiority. This need to have his cake and want to eat it too has caused him near paralytic depression at times, and this jolly film was a marvelous but brief elevator of his many mood swings. See it. Enjoy it. Though not directed by Von Trier, the film's production values are superb. Film students will love this film as they will think Von Trier is describing everyone in their world but them.

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