Ivan is a priest in a rural church known for the apples that grow on a large tree in front. He's odd: seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, in denial about personal facts, and convinced he's at war with Satan. The rectory is a half-way house for recently paroled convicts. Adam arrives for 12 weeks, a large, tough neo-Nazi, first baffled by Ivan's thick-headed optimism, then angry. He vows to break Ivan's faith. Meanwhile, in exasperation at Ivan's insistence, Adam sets a personal goal: to bake an apple pie. All goes awry for the tree: crows, worms, lightening. The Book of Job gives Adam perverse insight, and his hooligan mates provide the resolution's spring.Written by
According to the making of-featurette on the DVD, the scene with the crows eating apples was planned to be computer-generated, until a few Czechs showed up with four boxes of real life trained crows, and in the end everything worked out fine for a minimum of cost. See more »
[Esben, Holger and Jørgen approach Adam and Khalid]
What the hell are you doing?
With a sand-nigger?
It was a lightning. It knocked down the tree.
What the hell is wrong with you? Are you trying to make us look bad?
What do you mean?
You're running around talking about apple pie and climbing trees with a nigger. Are you an idiot?
Listen, Esben. I think you should get out of here.
[...] See more »
This was a wonderful surprise at the (Cleveland) CIFF, a well-made dark comedy.
Adam is a neo-Nazi on a sort of Danish "probation for reprobates", where society's sinners are given a gradual re-introduction to public life under the guidance of Ivan, a parish minister. Adam needs to negotiate a "program" for his several weeks stay; despite his efforts at being arch and cynical Ivan takes him totally in seriousness, setting "baking an apple pie" as Adam's goal. A battle of wills ensues between Adam and Ivan, with wonderful comedic support from Gunnar (Nicolas Bro in another wonderful role) the ex-tennis player and Khalid (Ali Kazim) as a not-yet-reformed terrorist.
Everyone is coping here, but the central character is clearly Ivan (perhaps the funniest I've seen Mads Mikkelsen!). He comes across as "Pangloss" with a twist: "everything is for the best" in this world only in that the devil conspires to make everything a test of man's faith. He is completely deluded yet completely steadfast. This rational irrationality is perhaps the greatest challenge to Adam; no matter what he does Ivan retains his faith to a point where the comedy simply takes another course.
Not to give away the delight of this comedy's surprises, the characters cope with life, each other, are exasperated and exasperating, consistently inconsistent the trials of Job are well played out in this barely disguised absurdist romp.
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