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Fuglene over sundet (2016)

Fuglene Over Sundet is the gripping tale of the Danish Jews' escape to Sweden in October 1943.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Arne Itkin
... Miriam Itkin
... N.B. Lund Ferdinansen
... Kaj
... Katrine Ferdinansen
... Group leader
... Jørgen
... Julie Levy
... Pastor Kjeldgaard
... Stærh
Mads Riisom ... Emmet Levy
... Ellen
Kristian Høgh Jeppesen ... Hans Vilhelm Adolf Juhl
... Driver
... Man in trenchcoat


Fuglene Over Sundet is the gripping tale of the Danish Jews' escape to Sweden in October 1943.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


En familie, en flugt, én chance (One family, one escape, one chance)


Drama | History | War


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Release Date:

27 October 2016 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Across the Waters  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


DKK 7,045,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Nicolas Bro and Laura Bro play siblings, just like they are in real life. See more »


In 1943, a doctor prescribes penicillin to a patient. Penicillin was only undergoing tests during World War II and would certainly not have been available to a GP. See more »


Music composed by Jesper Mechlenburg
© 2016 Gateway Music / Mechlenburg Music
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User Reviews

30 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

The story of saving the Danish Jews from deportation to Nazi extermination camps is well-known. It's a story of how a people united their forces and fooled the occupation forces. It is a story of how a people helped the neighbors to escape and survive. It is a glossy story of the common man's heroism. In recent years there came scratches to this tale. We have heard about fishermen who took overprice for sailing their Jewish countrymen to Sweden. There have been failings also. Not only "German Nazi pigs" were hating and hunting Jews, but there were also Danish Quislings. Thus an interesting situation, even with clear parallels to current affairs. Is this converted to a relevant film? Donato tells the story of Arne Itkin, a successful jazz musician, His wife hears in the synagogue that the German occupation forces are going to deport the Jewish citizens. Arne, however, is carefree - this cannot happen in Denmark. Instead of preparing their escape, he suggests domestic coziness in the bed. Thus we know that he is an artist and not seeing what is going on around him. However, also Arne cannot close his eyes when the Germans actually come to deport them. Within a second they change from citizens to refugees. They are told that the best chance is to take to the harbor of Gilleleje. (The rest of the plot is history. I won't tell it here; Google knows it already.) This is a film one should like, but there are different factors that make it difficult to enjoy it.

First - the photography and cinematography. Large parts of the film happen in darkness in a matter that make it difficult, sometimes for me impossible, to see what is going on. OK with "natural light", but we need to know what is going on. Exaggerated use of close-ups focus on parts of the faces, as if this was a chamber play. Presumably the intention was to show us the despair of the sudden homeless family. But to see a cut-off face without surrounding does not really work, at least not for me. Another reason is that the actors - and they are mostly really good actors - don't have much to work with. This leads to ...

Second - the dull script. The Itkin family is at best sketched, character development is missing. All stereotypes from films about Nazis are used. Dialogues are like speech bubbles and stilted statements. The actors seem to read from a batch card. Across the Waters - thus the English title - is mainly interesting because of the plot twist hinted at before. Take it as superficial time pass without expecting much from it.

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