Company commander Claus M. Pedersen (Pilou Asbæk) and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark Claus' wife Maria (Tuva Novotny) is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him - and his family back home.Written by
Nordisk Film Production A/S
It's no secret that the Danish people are making very good films. In the last four years they have been nominated for three Oscars, including this film Krigen. It is a tale of Danish troops stationed in Afghanistan, with a special focus on their commander Claus Michael and his family back home in Denmark. The Danish troops takes daily patrols to meet and speak with the locals. At the same time back in Denmark, Claus Michael wife Maria struggles with their children, especially the middle son who is in a defying period. Life in Afghanistan changes quickly when suddenly one of the soldiers gets killed and Claus Michael during a heavy fire exchange, is force to make a decision that comes with devastating consequences.
Krigen is like many other Danish films brutally realistic and dramatic. With a limited budget, they hardly had any possibilities to make a big Hollywood war film, but in some ways Krigen captures something else. With smaller environments, more focus on the soldiers mental health and the relationship between them, Krigen feels very realistic. It doesn't glamorize war or the life of war. When the soldiers lives are put on edge, you really understand that they are also victims in something they perhaps don't fully comprehend. Parallel with the war in Afghanistan, we also see Maria's life in Denmark. She is forced to fight her own kind of battle and the contrast between hers and her husbands life is very interesting.
The best and really most scaring thing about Krigen is the moral questions it asks about war and warfare. When Claus Michael is forced to make a decision to save his squad, he himself gets into deep trouble and suddenly risk prosecution back in Denmark. The country he serves and the soldiers whose lives was his duty to protect, suddenly turns more or less against him. Very interesting and a bit disturbing. I don't think the purpose of the film is entirely to be an anti war tale, but more likely to create debate. What is it like to be a soldier so far from home and can the authorities back home in Denmark really make decisions about certain things when they couldn't possibly understand what it is like to be in the middle of a war zone? I have for a long time, wanted Sweden to make this film but Denmark beat us to it. A very strong and interesting film.
David Lindahl - www.filmografen.se
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