New film to tackle ugly past

Land of Hans Christian Andersen also a nation of slavers, says director

November 29th, 2012 7:54 pm| by admin

Denmark’s participation in the slave trade is the focus of a new film being made by Daniel Dencik, an acclaimed documentary maker, whose most recent feature, 'The Expedition To The End Of The World', closed CPH:DOX earlier this month.

“The Danish mentality is that we abolished slavery, that we are so good and that we are such a small country with Hans Christian Andersen,” Dencik told Screen International. “It is not true. We were one of the major players in slavery. Denmark was a really big, important and hostile nation.”

The film will be called ‘Wulff’ and be set in the 19th century. Dencik, who describes it as a Danish period answer to Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’, is currently applying to the Danish Film Institute for development funding.

Dencik is the brother of David Dencik, the only actor to appear in both the Swedish and American versions of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’.

Niels Arden Oplev, the Danish director who cast him in the original, recently revealed that he is resisting the temptation to move permanently to Hollywood. Although he is currently Stateside with Colin Farrell shooting ‘Dead Man Down’, he has confirmed that his next film will bring him home.

“In the US I might make a film every third year and make three times as much money as in Denmark,” he told Ekko film magazine. “But I hope that I can alternate between making a large production here and a small intense movie at home.”

Once Oplev has called it a wrap on his current film, which once again saw him team up with Noomi ‘Lisbeth Salander’ Rapace, he will return to Denmark to begin work on a film of Morten Kirkskov’s acclaimed novel ‘Kapgang’ (Race Walking), which he is co-adapting with another Danish author, Bo Hr Hansen. The film is a loose follow-up to his 2006 film ‘Drømmen’ (‘We Shall Overcome’), exploring similar teenage themes like puberty and self-expression.

Oplev, meanwhile, remains very much in demand. The script for ‘Dead Man Down’ was one of 250 he read before choosing to work on it. His choice to alternate between Hollywood and Denmark is increasingly becoming a standard among Danes working in the industry. Mads Mikkelsen is a notable example.

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