The Danish Films at Berlinale

The other day I brought you a general overview of Swedish films at Berlinale, and now it’s time for the Danish ones. Benjamin Christensen’s Aesthetics of Shadow will get a special retrospective screening at the festival which you can read about here.



Nymphomaniac will get its official four hour premiere at the festival. The film doesn’t appear in any competition but is part of the official program. Nymphomaniac is about the development of a womans sexuality from childhood through to middle age. Joe, the protagonist, is found beaten in a dark alley by a bachelor, Seligman. He takes her home and tends to her wounds, while she takes inventory of her extreme sex life. The film spans eight chapters, and recounts her experiences in a story rich in associations and interspersed events.


Someone You Love

Someone You Love

This film, directed by  Pernille Fischer Christensen, will be screening as part of the special gala. Thomas Jacob is a famous singer-songwriter who lives in LA. After 10 years abroad he returns to Denmark in order to record a new album. There, he comes across his estranged daughter Julie and his 11 year old grandson, Noa. Soon – and much against his will – Thomas is forced to take care of the boy. Against all odds the two of them slowly begin to connect through music. But disaster strikes forcing Thomas to realize, he has to make a choice that will change his life forever.


The Contest

the contest

The Contest, directed by Martin Miehe-Renard, is part of Generation Kplus. Being a stranger doesn’t necessarily mean to be coming from the farthest away. Karl and his mother are about to learn this when they move from the west coast of Denmark to the ethnically, and religiously, mixed area of Nørrebro in Copenhagen. Sawsan, a young Islamic girl in Karl’s new class, takes him under her wings and tries to integrate him into the big city, with all its slang and hipness. Sawsan is far more experienced and blunt than you would normally see amongst her peers, but also in comparison with Karl, this young Danish boy from the provinces. That is, only until her big dream comes true and one of her homemade songs is chosen for the Danish version of the Eurovision Song Contest for kids. Sawsan’s father of course says no, but Karl has other plans.




Son, directed by Kristoffer Kiørboe, will be part of the Generation 14plus section. A coming of age short film about 13 year old August. His mother is devastated by the recent divorce from the father, and refuses to let August keep the puppy his father gave him for his birthday. It hurts August to see his mother in pain and he feels responsible for her, but he loves the puppy nearly as much as he misses his father. He decides to take the puppy and move in with his father and his new family, but August’s illusions are soon to be shattered. “Son” is a drama about ordinary life. August loses his childhood innocence and the world he once knew changes radically, just like he does himself.


Cathedrals of Culture – Halden Prison

Michael Madsen directed this film and it will be part of the Berlinale Special. It’s a 3D documentary film located in a prison in Norway. Check out an interview with the co-producer here.





Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.