The time is the mid-1970s. The dream of freedom and fellowship is peaking. In the commune, people can be free and happy. They live together, party together and grow together. They debate, quarrel, make love and inspire each other. It's a picture-perfect life.
"The Commune" is Thomas Vinterberg's own free invention, inspired by his colourful childhood in an academic commune north of Copenhagen.
Erik and Annam, an academic couple, and their daughter Freja establish a commune in Erik's big box of a house in suburban Hellerup. Centring on the little family, the film invites us into the dream of a true commune. We are there for house meetings, dinners and parties. There is friendship, love, family and community under one roof. But when Erik's mistress is allowed to move in, everything changes. As time passes and an epoch nears its end, reality intrudes, threatening to destroy the family, the friendship and the dream of togetherness.
Ulrich Thomsen and Trine Dyrholm, who both acted in Vinterberg's first two features, "The Biggest Heroes" and "The Celebration," star as Erik and Anna, while 14-year-old Martha Sofie Wallstrøm Hansen makes her debut as their daughter Freja.
First a Play, Now a Film
A few years ago, Thomas Vinterberg was flirting with the idea of making a film about a commune like the one he grew up in. Electing to test the material on stage first, the director premiered the play "The Commune" at the Burgtheater in Vienna.
Vinterberg wrote the play with Mogens Rukov and directed the production himself. A lot of the action and dialogue was improvised during the rehearsals with the Austrian actors. Adapting the play to film, Vinterberg wrote the screenplay with Tobias Lindholm.
The crew includes director of photography Jesper Tøffner and editors Anne Østerud and Janus Billeskov Jansen. Morten Kaufmann and Sisse Graum Jørgensen are producing for Zentropa in partnership with Toolbox Film and with support from the Danish Film Institute. Trustnordisk is handling international sales.
Danish theatrical release is scheduled for fall 2015.