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Goteborg 2016: Summer of 92

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There seems to be one day in the recent history that the Danes remember better than others: the day they won the European championships in football in 1992. It seems only fitting, then, that eventually a movie would be made about the unlikely victory of the Danish football team. Who knew it would be such a popular and well-made film.

Sommeren '92-plakat

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  • Domestic Premiere: 15th October 2015
  • International Premieres:
    • Sweden: 2nd February 2016 (Goteborg Film Festival)

Anticipation

Hailed as one of the greatest Danish sporting achievements in history, a film based on the story seems needed. 

Viewing

Very entertaining and easy viewing, Summer of 92 is a great all-round Danish film. 

Recommendation

This film is great for both sports fans and those who know nothing about it. 

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Waiting for the film to begin screening in Goteborg, I was asked several times if I was a fan of football. Once we were inside the theatre, when the film was introduced and discussed as being about the time the Danes won the football, people cheered in the audience. Having seen many dark Danish dramas throughout my time in Goteborg, the audience for Summer of 92 was easily the most enthusiastic and cheery bunch, and that reflected in the film itself.

Summer of 92 follows the true story of how Richard Nielsen (Ulrich Thomsen), the Danish football team manager, united his mismatched and unenthused team of superstars and nobodies to win in the 1992 European championship. The story is impressive enough as they nearly didn’t make it at all. Initially kicked out of the qualifying stages, the Danish football team instead decided to go on summer break and stopped training altogether. When Yugoslavia was forced to forfeit their place in the championship due to the civil war, the Danes found themselves with a week to prepare for the championship.

It’s clear from the start that the Danes are going to win, and in that sense the film is rather predictable. However, this doesn’t affect the films quality and entertainment value. Archive footage of the actual games is used alongside the film, and it works to great affect in creating the necessary tension associated with each game. While I’m sure there may be some inconsistencies in the telling of the sport, that doesn’t matter because the film is just fun to watch.

Summer of 92 also works in its writing of the characters – Ulrich Thomsen is understated as the stubborn coach, and a great deal of the film revolves around his character. Supporting roles by the football players are also entertaining and realistic, and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard shares scenes with Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, adding some star power to the film.

Overall, Summer of 92 is a thoroughly enjoyable film about a moment in Danish history that will remain popular and important to Danish culture for many years to come. Even if you aren’t a fan of football be sure to go along and see it – it’s definitely a new side of Danish film not seen on the screen as often.

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