Thursday, July 23, 2009


THE DANISH FILM MAKER, SUSANNE BIER'S psychological drama, "BRODRE",(BROTHERS) 2005, examines a contemporary tragedy. Imaginative and engrossing screenwriting incorporates violence in Afghanistan with an intimate study of domestic relationships. Fine performances of power and ferocity portray emotional truths both at home and at war.
Jannik, played by the peerless Nicolaj Lie Kaas is the aimless younger brother of Michael, (Ulrich Thomsen). He has just been released from prison for having committed a petty crime. Michael, the"good" brother, loving husband and father, and a doctor, is sent temporarily to Afghanistan with his reserve military unit. His helicopter is shot down, and his wife Sarah, ( Connie Nielsen), is notified that he has been killed.
The movie is basically about consequences. Michael is rescued, but his life is shattered because of a fateful event, an atrocity. When he returns to his wife and family, he is a broken man, full of rage. His jealousy and suspicion of Jannik and Sarah become increasingly irrational. The brother roles are exchanged; the good and the troublesome personas switch.
The movie was the winner in 2005 of the Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award for Drama. There is great narrative drive, and as in other Dogme films, locations are real and actors are given the freedom of movement and improvisation.
Dogme/Dogma is an avant-garde film movement started in 1995 by Danish directors, Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier, who wanted to make films not dependent on huge budgets. The goal was to cause a stir, to rethink the essence of film making. Dogme has roots in the '60's New Wave.
A Hollywood movie, "Brothers", was made in 2009 and is being released on DVD. I hope that they don't miss the point of "Brodre", that we don't necessarily know who we are, will be, in terms of right and wrong, when our lives are turned upside down.


Kat Mortensen said...

I am a HUGE fan of the Dogme films and really like both Ulrich Thomsen and Connie Nielsen. We own a number of Danish films (especially since Kev is of Danish descent) so I'll be looking out for this one, Lyn!


Lyn said...

Hi Kat-
Great..I'm sure you'll like this one too..did you see Celebration and Just Another Love Story? Both terrific! Also, After the Wedding..

Tess Kincaid said...

My library branch has a great selection of foreign films. I'm going to see if they have this one. Thanks, Lyn.

Lyn said...

Hi Willow-
I'm mad for these Danish evocative of that thing called "life". Great acting too..Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Sounds fascinating; will look to put it on my blockbuster list.

Lyn said...

Hi Gaston-
The integrity of the movie making is very refreshing..hope you enjoy it, Jane!

Unknown said...

Hi Lyn,

I've never been a great one for foreign films, finding the subtitles too distracting but essential! Not that I'm a great movie buff whether at the cinema or on DVD. Normally, I'm content for them to eventually appear on TV! But when you or Willow do these reviews, at least I get a flavour!

Thanks for your perseverance at leaving a comment for my poem. Today, there's something lighthearted!

Lyn said...

Hi Derrick-
Well, you have certainly placed me in excellent company! I get to see lots of movies because of a great plan we have, Netflix, in which I can subscribe to several dvd's a week..have been movie crazy since I was about 5! Didn't write reviews then, but did mimic the stars!!..

Jeane Myers said...

this sounds like a wonderful film, will netflix it and I do hope you are right that the hollywood version doesn't loose the point as so often happens :)

Lyn said...

Hi Jeane-
I just learned of the Hollywood version..maybe it went right to DVD. Not out yet..
Enjoy the movie!

A Cuban In London said...

Never heard of this film. And now I have put it in my lovefilms list. Great review. About Dogme, I saw 'The Idiots' and 'Breaking the Waves' and loved both. And currently Von Trier is causing a stir with his 'AntiChrist' so the essence of Dogem is still there, methinks.

Greetings from London.

Lyn said...

Greetings to a Cuban-
I hope you enjoy this one as much as you did the others. I'm glad that the list of Dogme films keeps expanding..I don't know the
AntiChrist..or the controversy..


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