Anders Thomas Jensen: Coincidences and connections

INTERVIEW. Anders Thomas Jensen addresses the big questions such as the meaning of life and our search for coherence in 'Riders of Justice', hailed by the Danish critics. Opening the Rotterdam Film Festival, the dramedy also draws on the Danish director's usual ensemble of colourful outsiders.

"If you lose something you love ... It's painful. Everything inside you screams, and you start looking for 'band-aids'. Pills, alcohol, faith, friends – or revenge."

Says Anders Thomas Jensen, who explores our search for meaning in his fifth film as director, 'Riders of Justice'.

The dramedy features Mads Mikkelsen as Markus who loses his wife in a train accident and tries to make sense of it all for himself and his teenage daughter Mathilde.

"We depend on being able to see connections," the Danish director adds. "If you end up in a place where the connections are no longer apparent, life can become difficult ... You lose the plot. The movie has a clear theme about coincidences and connections that are strongly connected."

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The 50th Rotterdam Film Festival starting 1 February will be opening with 'Riders of Justice', selected for the Limelight programme celebrating cinematic highlights of the year including avant-premieres and festival favourites.

'Riders of Justice' received outstanding reviews upon its Danish cinema premiere on 19 November. The film was praised for its prolific cast and hailed by many as Anders Thomas Jensen's best feature since his groundbreaking debut 'Flickering Lights' from 2000.

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During its three weeks of full release, before the partial lockdown of the country, the film sold more than 457,000 tickets, making it the second best-selling film of the year. Furthermore, it has been sold for distribution in a number of countries, including the US.

'Riders of Justice' is written and directed by Anders Thomas Jensen. Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Sidsel Hybschmann have produced for Zentropa. Trustnordisk is handling international sales.