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This Life (2012)

Hvidsten gruppen (original title)
The true story of the Fiil's a family of innkeepers who during Nazi-Germany's occupation of Denmark took up arms against the German occupiers. But in the fight for freedom, some must die so that others may live.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marius Fiil
Bodil Jørgensen ...
Gudrun Fiil
...
Niels Fiil
Laura Winther Møller ...
Gerda Fiil
Marie Bach Hansen ...
Tulle Fiil
Jesper Riefensthal ...
Peter Sørensen
Mia Ejlerskov ...
Bitten Fiil
Bjarne Henriksen ...
Albert Carlo Iversen
Janus Kim Elsig ...
Henning Andersen (as Janus Elsig)
...
Johan Kjær
Niels Lund Boesen ...
Niels Kjær (as Niels Boesen)
Arne Siemsen ...
Søren Kristensen
Morten Christensen ...
Knud Christensen
Jakob Svarre Juhl ...
Jens Stenz (as Jakob Svarre)
Peder Holm Johansen ...
Anders Steensgaard
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Storyline

The true story of the Fiil's a family of innkeepers who during Nazi-Germany's occupation of Denmark took up arms against the German occupiers. But in the fight for freedom, some must die so that others may live.

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some must die so that others may live

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Drama | War

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Release Date:

1 March 2012 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

This Life  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is based on a true story during World War II See more »

Connections

Featured in Hvidsten Gruppen: Bag kameraet (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Up close and personal
10 March 2012 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Denmark, 1942. The Fiil couple, Marius and Gudrun(who have some of the best and most powerful screen-time), are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, along with the birth of their first grandchild. Invited to the tavern they own and run is their family and their friends from both the Jutland village of Hvidsten and the surrounding areas(and these fallible, normal average Joe's are who we follow for the duration, and from their perspective, which has a certain intimacy to it; also, several things are more effective on account of that, such as plane fly-bys(heck, I ducked in my seat to not get hit by it), which demand surround sound, and are a fantastic reason for you to see this in the theater), and these early scenes help us get to know them(making it have an impact when we later see him recruiting them... and the tough choice has to be made - can one really make a difference, and what will happen to the relatives if one gets caught, etc.), see them in a pleasant situation(and these parties are very comfortable, you feel like you're there with them) and the credible characters and their close(and realistic) relationships with each other are established and developed. With a cast of over a dozen, obviously not everyone gets a lot of time, but few are one-note. The acting has been criticized... honestly, I can see that maybe a third of it(shared by almost everyone in this, meaning no one is consistently poor) is unconvincing, perhaps downright bad. That's it. The rest of it is great. This is a compelling film. For the first half, the Nazis are not seen very much in this, and once they appear, they come off like the machines from the flashbacks in The Terminator(original); relentless killing machines that you want to avoid at all costs(they are the only people in this that don't come off as full humans(and they shouldn't, because they wouldn't to these untrained, small town farmers in this position. In the first 10-20 minutes, the occupation is just under the surface, barely mentioned, because when you're experiencing it, you can't maintain your sanity if you constantly focus on it. This is practically purely filmed with hand-held camera, which serves two functions(and well, at that). It makes the scenes of these regular people seem natural, like they're right in front of you. And it has the Paul Greengrass thing going for it, making it more gripping. This is a highly tense film(and little of it is false(if it does sometimes suffer from the Danish movie issue of not having consequences to negative occurrences)... near the very end, there is a sequence that, as one of the few, strains credulity and frankly detracts from the whole. This is also the only point where this feels slow, the pacing is otherwise very good, and the running time of around two hours is fitting), you're on the edge of your seat for the majority, not only when people may die. I would classify it as a drama-thriller, not an action flick. It's not spy stuff, it's trying to hide from the Germans. This gets a genuine emotional response from the viewer. It is not sentimental. The use of traditional Danish music(some of it proud) is marvelous(international audiences will sadly miss some of that). This has very nice humor, as well. There is plenty of disturbing content and a little bloody violence in this. I recommend this to everyone mature enough. 8/10


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