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Little Soldier (2008)
"Lille soldat" (original title)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 522 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 13 critic

A soldier returning from war is hired by her own father to drive his prostitutes around town. She calls upon herself to help one of them.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Finn Nielsen ...
Far
...
Nabo
...
John
Henrik Prip ...
Henning
Jens Jørn Spottag ...
Fischer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Victoria Agami ...
Daisy
Louisa Yaa Aisin ...
Pearl
Aske Bang ...
Tjener
Ramadan Huseini ...
Albansk mand
Lene Johansen ...
TV speaker (voice)
Henrik Jørgensen ...
Mekaniker
Nima Nabipour ...
Mand på bar
Søren Poppel ...
Voldelig kunde
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Storyline

Lotte is a soldier recently back from war. She drinks, and her apartment is a mess. When her father comes to see her he offers her a job. He turns out to make his living by offering the services of African prostitutes to those who want to buy. Lotte starts driving his girlfriend and main attraction Lily around town for house calls. Lotte determines that Lily needs her help. Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

14 November 2008 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Little Soldier  »

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User Reviews

 
A moving - and surprising - psychological journey
7 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

How do you do some good in the world? And is it for the person you want to benefit? Or is it really about being honest with yourself? Little Soldier makes us face some of the hardest questions we may never want to answer. One is war. Another is human trafficking. As Harriet Harman pulls scare figures on trafficked sex workers out of a hat to boost her government's failing public support (and push through another 'tough' bill), this quiet Danish film digs to a level of reality that we maybe didn't want to visit.

A young, disillusioned female soldier returns from Afghanistan. Lotte's psychological numbness is with herself as much as with the world around her. With her own ability – or lack of it – to make a difference. To somehow make the world a better place. Beneath an incredibly powerful fighting frame, she yearns to re-discover her feminine kindness. But war has brutalised her. And when she returns home, the bond she hoped to discover with her father, throws her isolated, war-weary, and unemployed remnant of the woman she has become, against an ineffectual old man on civvy street. He runs a kindly escort business with trafficked women, exchanging a vanload every so often and keeping their passports in his safe.

It is all so horribly everyday. So horribly convincing. Chilling. Yet reality keeps unfolding like a series of Chinese boxes. Each revelation is more realistic than what has gone before. We reach a credible, emotionally charged plateau, only to have it swept from under our feet by an even more believable explanation of what is happening all around us.

Lotte befriends one of the prostitutes, Lily. Her father's favourite. He trusts Lotte to act as driver and bodyguard (a role which Lotte's military training lets her perform a little too well at times). The two women become close, realising they share similar psychological scars. They have become welded to a life they cannot leave. Saving another's soul becomes a heart-rending admission of one's own needs. Needs which can blind.

The brutal honesty of this film reminds me of another movie about war and violence, also directed by a woman (Kate Bigelow's, The Hurt Locker). Both films, without moralising, look at the psychological reality while depicting 'male' violence at its most hard-hitting. In Little Soldier, Lotte has been masculinised, first in a desperate attempt to get attention from her father, and then by being a soldier. Lotte and Lily have nothing but contempt for each other, yet their needs draw them ever closer together. Director Annette K. Olesen peels back the fabric of salvation – a drive that makes us want to save individuals or save the world. Worlds and individuals that are far less sure of their need to be saved than our need to save them. Says Oleson, "Saviours are good. And in fairy tales they are altruistic. But can they expect to be saved too? Can you save somebody who doesn't want salvation?" Little Soldier is another fine feather in the cap of Zentropa, the Danish film company founded in 1992 by director Lars von Trier. And while it has great depth, it is not aimed solely at the art house crowd. Heart-warming, profoundly moving, shocking and violent, Little Soldier is a film that will fight to stay in your memory.


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