‘1864’ opens to mixed reviews and accusations of historical inaccuracies
The DR epic ‘1864’ – one of the most anticipated TV series ever made in Denmark, which kicked off on Sunday evening – has received mixed reviews from the Danish media.
The drama, which centres on the second Schleswig War between Denmark on one side and Prussia and Austria on the other, was given three out of six stars by Jyllands-Posten, Berlingske and Ekstra Bladet, while Politiken and BT gave the series five-star ratings following its debut.
“It is contradictory that the brilliantly huge ambition that drives ‘1864’ also becomes its Achilles heel,” Jyllands-Posten wrote in its review.
Ekstra Bladet suggested “the war hasn’t been lost yet, [but] the first battle was certainly no victory”.
Meanwhile, the more positive reviews underlined the stunning scenography. BT said the series opener “looked like it hit the bull’s eye artistically”, while Politiken hailed the series’ cinematography – done by Dan Laustsen – as being “some of the most beautiful Danish TV drama ever seen”.
Directed by Ole Bornedal, the eight-episode drama cost 173 million kroner to make – 360,416 kroner per minute – making it the most expensive TV series in Danish history.
But when it comes to history, the series has a number of inaccuracies according to the historian Jens Ole Christensen, who has written a number of books on the subject.
In particular, Christensen chided the series’s contention that a rabid nationalism propelled Denmark into war.
“That’s a very simplified explanation about what actually led to the war in 1864,” Christensen told Metroxpress newspaper. “It makes more sense as a contemporary comment than a historical description.”