At the Orphanage Godhavn violence and humiliations plays a part of the everyday life. Based on real stories from Godhavn, where lots of boys were victims of violent and sexual abuse and medical neglect.
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Tomas Villum Jensen
'Der kommer en dag' is a movie about an orphanage where violence and humiliations is a part of the everyday life. The history is based on real stories from a boy home called 'godhavn', where lots of boys were victims of violent and sexual abuse and medical experiments.Written by
Deplorable circumstances, like in Oliver Twist, yet a different approach focusing on personal developments of two boys who carry the story. Two hours seem long but well spent
Of course, like in Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, the circumstances in such institutions are horrible and deplorable. No one seems to care as long as no complaints are registered and nothing of the abuse and slavery comes out in the open. The story in this movie is different, however, due to demonstrating that not only management and teaching staff have their faults, but also the boys themselves maintain some sort of hierarchy. For example, we see "lower" boys tasked with e.g. collecting cigarette-ends and being bullied when set targets are not met. As such we see a self-contained ecosystem, where survival of the fittest is the norm, alongside with evading visibility (playing "ghosts") and not attracting attention. Painful scenes are intermixed with moving moments, as could be expected.
The developments take their time, but that does not mean that the whole movie is boring in any way. Each time you think that you can predict the outcome, you are proved wrong. That is why this drama needs its nearly 2 hours running time to develop in full, and to explore all sides of the problem. Contrary to every description I've read about head master Heck, as being sadistic, the impression left behind is that he means well, in spite of his harsh methods. In other words, removing all sharp edges of inherently uncontrollable boys, is his way to harden and prepare them for the outside world. All of this is best illustrated by him asking, begging nearly, after having signed the dearly -wanted letter that confirms the boy is discharged, whether he (the boy) is prepared to speak out that the school has done him a lot of good, after all.
All in all, casting of main protagonists is perfect and all of them perform very well. A special mention is needed for the two boys who carry the story from start to finish. We also see how difficult it is to interest TPTB for the problems at the orphanage. Interesting and unexpected developments succeed in keeping the viewer interested all along.
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