Thursday 25 May: A War (15)

Original title: Krigen

Denmark  –  Crime Drama, War  –  Year: 2015  –  Running time: 115 mins
Language: Danish/Arabic/English

Audience response following the screening of this film:
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.324 from 38 responses)

  • ‘Excellent’: 12 votes
  • ‘Very Good’: 25 votes
  • ‘Good’: 0 votes
  • ‘Satisfactory’: 0 votes
  • ‘Poor’: 0 vote

Read the comments here or visit our A War discussion page.

A War 3Synopsis:

This gripping, thought-provoking film contrasts battlefronts at home and abroad. A Danish patrol in Afghanistan suffers traumatising loss, rebounding on not only the company commander but also his family back home. The action moves from conflict zone to courtroom battles, where actions made in haste have potentially life-threatening repercussions not only for soldiers but also children’s safety and protection

Like his 2012 film “A Hijacking,” Danish writer-director Tobias Lindholm’s drama “A War” explores the theme of moral compromise with an uncomfortably astringent honesty.
Michael O’Sullivan (Washington Post)

Director: Tobias Lindholm
A Hijacking (2012), The Hunt (2012 – Screenplay), R (2010)
Pilou Asbæk                    …  Claus Michael Pedersen
Alex Høgh Andersen       …  Anders Holm

Dar Salim                         …  Najib Bisma
Tuva Novotny                  …  Maria Pedersen
(for full cast, and more information, see “A War” in IMDB)

CFC Film notes                                   (click here for printed version)

“The issue is not what you have done, but what you do now…” Denmark’s entry for this year’s best foreign language film Oscar is a gripping and thought-provoking affair from writer-director Tobias Lindholm that counterposes battlefronts at home and abroad. We open with an arresting, Kajaki-style sequence in which a Danish patrol in Afghanistan suffers traumatising loss.

From here we cut to Denmark, where the family of Pilou Asbæk’s company commander Claus Michael Pedersen are awaiting his call. As the drama unfolds, moving inexorably from conflict zone to courtroom, we shift back and forth between the commander and his wife, Maria (Tuva Novotny), both of whom face potentially life-threatening situations involving the protection/endangerment of children and judgment calls made in haste.

With its handheld camerawork (by Magnus Nordenhof Jønck), sparse music cues and affectingly naturalistic performances, A War employs quasi-documentary “realism” to powerful effect. The combination of nail-biting tension and suffocating stillness that characterised A Hijacking (Kapringen) (from which key cast members return) inflects the life-and-death mundanity of the war-zone sequences, while later stages echo the communal paranoia of The Hunt (Jagten), which Lindholm co-wrote with Thomas Vinterberg.

Ultimately, this is a film about guilt, grief and accountability, the chaos of war clashing with the sterility of an after-the-fact trial as the boundaries between blame and bravery are blurred beyond resolution. Novotny is terrific as the wife and mother struggling to hold her family together as her husband is hauled over the coals, and Lindholm’ s juxtaposition of images of prone children, worlds apart, is both acute and alarming.”

Mark Kermode (The Observer, January 2016)

Selected UK reviews:

The Independent (Geoffrey Mcnab)
Little White Lies (Trevor Johnston)




We always welcome audience comments on the films we have shown, please add your comments to the blog below:

Audience feedback for: ‘A War’

There were 38 response slips returned after the showing of this film, the feedback we received from these slips were as follows: Rating: ‘Excellent’: 12 votes ‘Very Good’: 25 votes ‘Good’: 0 votes ‘Satisfactory’: 0 votes ‘Poor’: 0 votes + 1 comment submitted without a rating … Continue reading