ZÜRICH FILM FESTIVAL 2015: KRIGEN Film review
Scandinavian writer/director Tobias Lindholm’s Krigen, about the Danish contingent fighting in Afghanistan, shows how war affects not only soldiers on the frontlines, but their families back at the home front, plus civilians caught in the crossfire between NATO troops and the Taliban. Shot with great realism, Krigen is largely about the Danish unit’s commanding officer on the ground, Claus Michael Pedersen, sensitively played by Johan Philip Pilou Asbæk, who also co-starred in Lindholm’s exciting 2012 A Hijacking (aka Kapringen) and as the spin doctor Kasper Juul on the superb 2010-2013 Danish TV series about Denmark’s first female prime minister, Borgen, which Lindholm also wrote for.
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At least two other Borgen alums co-star in Krigen, including Dar Salim (Borgen’s Green party MP) and Søren Malling (Borgen’s TV news producer) portrays attorney Martin Olsen, who represents Pedersen when, after a heated firefight in an Afghan village, is charged with war crimes. As Krigen demonstrates, these melancholy Danes would have been better off if their government pursued Denmark’s historic neutrality policy, instead of becoming embroiled in NATO and its meddling far from Copenhagen.
L.A.-based reviewer Ed Rampell co-authored “The Hawaii Movie and Television Book” (see:http://hawaiimtvbook.weebly.com/). His interview with America’s former Poet Laureate is in the new book “Conversations With W.S. Merwin.”