This Oscar winner (best foreign language) is an absolute belter if you like your melodrama. Two ordinary bourgeois families coming to terms with marital strife and the death of a mother, respectively. The teenage boys struggle at school to deal with the everyday thuggery of bullies: one is passive (he’s Swedish so is victim of Danish racism) the other, the superbly named Christian… well I won’t spoil.
The Swede’s father works intermittently as a surgeon in Africa; doing ‘good’ in extreme circumstances. He has to deal with the morality of treating a ‘warlord’, who is guilty of extreme violence, and the bullying when he’s at home (one of the bullies is superbly played by Kim Bodnia, Martin in The Bridge). Christian’s dad seems to be a distant businessman who cannot connect with his son.
This is one to catch on Blu-ray, if you can. The cinematography of Africa is absolutely stunning and Bier’s direction is constantly engaging, also using the Danish settings well. It investigates middle class morality by placing the characters, and the audience, into a moral maze where the right answer might not exist.