Film Programs

Focus on Nation Cinema: Denmark

For the past 40 years, Danish cinema has been an entertaining and stimulating guest at the Denver Film Festival banquet. From Carl Theodor Dreyer—regarded by many as the greatest director ever to emerge from the Nordic nation—to contemporary auteurs Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, who introduced the world to the Dogme 95 movement, Denmark has been the home of a prolific and vibrant film industry. So it gives us great pleasure to shine the spotlight on Danish cinema in 2017 by offering a diverse sampling of works by veteran and emerging directors. The focus includes six new feature narratives, a provocative feature documentary and a von Trier classic.

Across the Waters
Denmark 2016 94 min.

Unsure of whom they can trust, a Jewish musician and his family make a frantic escape from Nazi-occupied Denmark in this hair-raising story of survival based on real-life events.

Breaking the Waves
Denmark 1996 159 min.

Danish auteur Lars von Trier's 1996 masterpiece stars Emily Watson as a deeply religious naïf who believes she's doing God's work through sex—a view not shared by her pious community. This devastating exploration of faith and sacrifice is also one of the most remarkable love stories you'll ever see.

Heartstone
Iceland 2016 129 min.

Thor and Kristjan negotiate the turmoil of adolescence in this emotional coming-of-age drama set in rural Iceland, where the boys' friendship is sorely tested when one discovers the other's true feelings about him. The young cast delivers compelling performances amid landscapes of harsh majesty.

In the Blood
Denmark 2016 114 min.

Set over the course of a summer in Copenhagen, this moody coming-of-age tale from Rasmus Heisterberg follows four 20-somethings who drink, take drugs and rave together, heeding their mantra that responsibility is overrated. But the passage into adulthood is as inevitable as it is undesirable.

Loving Pia
Denmark 2017 99 min.

With unadorned candor, this elegiac work of docufiction focuses on an elderly woman, Guittou, who cares for her 60-year-old mentally disabled daughter. When she dies, what will happen to Pia? Pia has an idea: for the first time in her life, she will find herself a man.

Parents
Denmark 2016 86 min.

This Danish dramatic comedy with elements of magical realism addresses the challenges of an empty nest. When their son leaves home, Kjeld and Vibeke try to renew their passion by moving into the flat they shared as students 30 years earlier—only to find themselves literally traveling back in time.

Under the Tree
Iceland 2017 89 min.

In this pitch-black comedy of manners, Atli's wife throws him out and forbids him to see his daughter, while his parents engage in a slow-burning dispute with the neighbors. As the two stories of sleek, bleak suburbia merge, the notoriously dark worldview of Icelandic cinema comes into focus.

Venus
Denmark 2016 80 min.

An open casting call for an erotic film based on real-life sexual experiences takes a curious turn when 100 women show up and begin to take command of the auditioning process in this Danish documentary, by turns amusing, frank and contemplative.

Winter Brothers
Denmark 2017 97 min.

In Danish filmmaker Hlynur Pálmason's compelling, tragicomic lack-of-love story, two emotionally fraught brothers in a desolate mining town are drawn into a violent feud as workplace ostracism and romantic rivalry leads one to the brink of revenge.

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