"Grisen" opens with an old Danish man in the back of a cab driven by a dark-haired young man (immigrant?) blasting a rock song on the radio calling for a return to the old days when everyone in Denmark was free.
Once in the hospital old Asbjorn is charmed by an amusing picture of a pig which offers him great comfort through the various colorectal procedures that may or may not find evidences of cancer.
One morning he wakes up to find a Muslim roommate surrounded by a huge family and his "guardian angel" pig missing. The dear old-fashioned gent is being very much put out by the Muslims who are arrogantly imposing their foreign restrictive values, and the mollycoddling liberals who just shrug and make ineffectual bureaucratic noises.
Even setting aside the many easy solutions to this dilemma that would undermine the drama ("Why doesn't Hamlet just kill the king?"), it simply re-enforces the stereotypes described above.
Actually few Muslims would care one way or another about a picture of a pig (unless it is a contrivance in a pointedly islamophobic caricature.) We don't eat pork, but a painting is just a painting and so what? Most Muslim immigrants are very adaptive, getting along fine in host countries. Of course there are obstinate characters on all sides of any question and they grab the headlines and become the focus of drama. It is too bad that with all the efforts at reconciliation and co-operation that this negative stereotype is being so promoted.
Even though much of the humor is banal and predictable, the stereotypic lawyering, the butt jokes, the film is technically well produced. Worthy of an Oscar nomination? I don't see how.
I do find it interesting that I haven't seen any protests or arguments against this film. Nobody is trying to stop it or censor it. Mine is the first complaint I've seen anywhere and even then I would not make any effort to censor it, just to ask people to consider carefully what it is saying.
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