New Danish Documentary Films
The Art of Repression
Estephan Wagner, Marianne Hougen-Moraga, 2019
At the foot of the Andes in Chile lies a small German colony – Villa Baviera. An idyllic tourist resort hiding a grim past with systematic child-abuse, medical experiments, slave-like living conditions, torture chambers and mass graves. Today victims, victimizers and those who are both fight over the monopoly on how to remember the past and how to live in the present.
Feras Fayyad, 2019
Deep beneath the surface in the Syrian province of Al Ghouta, a group of female doctors have established an underground field hospital. Under the supervision of paediatrician Dr. Amani and her staff of doctors and nurses, hope is restored for some of the thousands of children and civilian victims of the ruthless Syrian civil war.
Cold Case Hammarskjöld
Mads Brügger, 2019
In 1961, United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, leaving no known survivors. It is widely understood that because Hammarskjöld was advocating for Congo’s independence, against the wishes of European mining companies and other powerful entities, the "crash" was an assassination. With the case still unsolved 50-plus years later, Danish journalist, filmmaker and provocateur Mads Brügger leads an investigation to unearth the truth.
A Colombian Family
Tanja Wol Sørensen, 2019
An end to the armed conflict in Colombia marks the beginning of one family’s journey to reconcile after a lifetime in war. After an exile of 12 years, Yira confronts her mother about her upbringing and letting her go into exile alone. She refuses to engage with politics and has no hope for a brighter future in Colombia.
Fall of Kings
Mads Kamp Thulstrup, 2019
In the 1970s and 80s, Ole Olsen was king of Danish speedway, but his two heir apparents, Erik Gundersen and Hans Nielsen, were breathing down his neck to become next in line. The story of Danish speedway’s unexpected rise to fame is about the close ties between three men who switch from friendship to enmity. The film examines what drove them from youth in anonymity to racing on international speedway tracks, following their heroic achievements and their battle among themselves – until one day when it suddenly ends.
Forget Me Not
Sun Hee Engelstoft, 2019
At the Aeshuwon institution on the South Korean island of Jeju, young pregnant and unmarried women come to seek refuge to hide their pregnancies. Here, the women stay until they have given birth, having to make a crucial choice of whether to keep their child or give it up for adoption, as society does not accept unmarried mothers. Typically, the disgrace of the family, the reluctance of the boyfriend and the disdain of the South Korean society towards the women’s behaviour have a big impact on their final decision.
Hunting for Hedonia
Pernille Rose Grønkjær, 2019
An examination of the explosive development in the so-called "deep brain stimulation" (DBS). With permanent electrodes in selected areas of the brain, scientists can adjust abnormal activity and thereby normalise different kinds of psychiatric states. However, the method raises fundamental questions about what is normal, and how much we want our psyche manipulated with.
I love you I miss you I hope I see you before I die
Eva Marie Rødbro, 2019
A harsh and dreamy story of a young Midwestern girl’s battle with poverty and the mercurial power of her own longing heart. Through Betty we experience a tight family clan of children born by children born by children. Blood is thicker than anything and the constellation of the family is the frame of the world.
On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship
Karen Stokkendal Poulsen, 2019
The entire world praised the military and Aung San Suu Kyi when power was passed on to the democracy icon after 50 years of military dictatorship. One year later she defended an ethnic cleansing and had isolated herself from the public. Key leaders tell the story of how the military of Myanmar stepped into the shadow after 50 years of dictatorship, while Aung San Suu Kyi, whom the military had kept in house arrest for 20 years, became the leader of the country.
Carl Olsson, 2019
A film about the noble landed gentry, constantly renegotiating the borders between history and modernity. Through scenic tableaus and a strong sense for detail, the film paints a world of tradition and perfection – and in it man, striving to fit into the grandeur of an idea.
Emil Langballe, 2019
Q’s Barbershop is located in the heart of Vollsmose, the largest social housing project in Denmark, and is a popular hangout spot for the young Somalis of the area. The owner, Qasim, is from Somalia himself, and he makes sure that young people in Vollsmose have got style. At Q’s Barbershop, you can get an Usher, a Flat Top, a House Party or a Will Smith with low fade.
Phie Ambo, 2019
47 children are given free rein on an abandoned construction site in Copenhagen, where nature has long since taken over. Here, they will go to school for ten weeks and discover what nature has to teach them. The film is told through scenes with the children, but also with nature’s voice as a continuous narrator: "For what does it mean to learn something? How do you know what you’ve learned from feeling my wind in your hair or my rain on your cheeks? How can you measure what you sensed in your belly as you sat in the top of my tallest chestnut tree? Where does it settle in you?"
The Reformist – a female Imam
Marie Skovgaard, 2019
Sherin Khankan is opening one of Europe’s first mosques run by female imams. The Mosque’s members aim to confront and challenge the fear surrounding Islam and call for a new feminist agenda breaking with established gender hierarchies. Sherin is impatient.
Journey to Utopia
Erlend E. Mo, 2019
Ingeborg and Erlend, a Danish singer and a Norwegian film director, plus their four children live happily at their family farm in the Norwegian mountains – except for the fact that both parents have to travel far to work, by car and by plane. The parents are deeply concerned about the global climate crisis and feel an increasing need to face their personal responsibility. The couple decides to leave their picture-perfect home in Norway to move to an ideal society, a “permatopian” eco-village under construction in Denmark.
The War Photographer
Boris Benjamin Bertram, 2019
An unfiltered portrait of the internationally famed photographer Jan Grarup, who is struggling to balance life in war zones with being the father of four. For 25 years Jan Grarup has covered war and humanitarian conflicts around the globe. From the genocide in Rwanda to the present urban battlefield of Mosul, where Grarup is embedded with the Iraqi Special Forces in their fight against Islamic State.
Omar Shargawi, 2019
An intimate portrait of a Danish-Arabic family through good and bad over a period of 12 years. The father is Palestinian, the mother Danish and their three sons are the result of a cultural encounter which manifested upon the arrival of the first immigrants coming to Denmark in the 1960s and 70s.
The Winter Journey
Anders Østergaard, 2019
Martin Goldsmith never knew what really had happened to his parents Georg and Rosemarie before their escape from Germany in 1941. As he confronts his father over a long weekend, we are brought back to the complex 1930s, when his parents were young musicians in a bizarre organisation – Jüdischer Kulturbund. Here, at the mercy of Joseph Goebbels, they devoted their youth to music until they escaped at the very last minute.