7.5/10
3,888
15 user 6 critic

The Bench (2000)

Bænken (original title)
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.

Director:

Per Fly

Writers:

Kim Leona (screenplay), Per Fly (screenplay)
Reviews
11 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jesper Christensen ... Kaj
Marius Sonne Janischefska Marius Sonne Janischefska ... Jonas
Stine Holm Joensen Stine Holm Joensen ... Liv
Nicolaj Kopernikus ... Stig
Jens Albinus ... Kim
Sarah Boberg ... Connie (as Sarah Kjærgaard Boberg)
Benjamin Boe Rasmussen Benjamin Boe Rasmussen ... Bo
Lars Brygmann ... Lars
Lars Ranthe Lars Ranthe ... Kaptajnen
Holger Perfort Holger Perfort ... Hr. Nandrup
Britta Lillesøe Britta Lillesøe ... Lis
John Martinus John Martinus ... Toiletpasser
Petrine Agger Petrine Agger ... Sygeplejerske
Ann Kristine Schmidt Ann Kristine Schmidt ... Receptionist
Anette Støvelbæk ... Kims Nabo
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Per Fly originally came up with the idea of making the film after reading an article by the leader of charity organization Kirkens Korshær about poverty and social problems in Denmark. As part of his later research he intensely followed the work of a social counselor for some time. He based the film's characters on the people he saw and met during that period. See more »

Goofs

Kaj's name on the letterbox reappears after he has destroyed it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bænken - med virkeligheden som udgangspunkt (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Le grand café
Written by Ph. Lommet
Match Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
Fantastic and heartfelt portrayal of the edges of society
2 March 2003 | by prometheus-dkSee all my reviews

I was very skeptical when I first went to see this movie, I have never been a fan of political movies or movies with an overstated "message". This film however, proved to be neither. This is a refreshingly unsentimental portrayal of one of the members of society that we all would prefer to ignore. The main character, Kaj, is a wellfare client with no prospects, he once had a job and was making a life for himself, but now he is a broken down alcoholic with a genuine but thinly-veiled deathwish. He is masterfully portrayed by Jesper Christensen who, deservedly, won both the Bodil and Robert awards for his performance. Enter a woman who says she is his daughter and suddenly his world becomes complicated. What is so great about this film is that it never wallows in pity and heartfelt sympathies for its protagonists and neither does it become a political manifesto about the sufferings of the lower classes. This is ultimately a movie about a man, a man who may have made some wrong decisions in his life but nonetheless a human being like the rest of us. Per Fly spent a lot of time with people whose life resembles that of the characters in order to achieve a high level of authenticity. As a result the setting of the film is thoroughly believable and the characters equally so. This is the first film in Per Fly's trilogy about the classes in Denmark, the second movie about the upper class premiers this week in Denmark and the third, about the middle class will begin preproduction shortly.


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Details

Country:

Denmark | Sweden

Language:

Danish

Release Date:

27 October 2000 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A pad See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,190,251
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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