Life & Culture

Film review: Into the Darkness

This feature about the Nazi occupation of Denmark would work better as a TV series, says Linda Marric


 In his new film Into The Darkness, editor-writer-director and longtime Lars von Trier collaborator Anders Refn (Melancholia, Dogville) presents a touching family drama set in Nazi occupied Denmark. Co-written by Refn and prolific TV writer Flemming Quist Møller, the film stars veteran Danish actor Jesper Christensen (known for his role in a number of James Bond movies) and describes the dilemmas of the Danish population during World War II.

We’re in 1940s Denmark. War is raging through Europe and no territory is safe from its destructive force. Denmark, while declaring itself as neutral at the start of the war, is occupied by Hitler’s Third Reich in 1940.

Like the government of his country, Karl Skov (Christensen) the owner of a big electronics factory, tries to make the best of the situation to keep his business afloat. This, however leads him into a problematic collaboration with the Germans and direct conflict with some members of his large family.

Meanwhile, Karl’s son Aksel (a brilliant turn from Mads Reuther) reacts against the increasing oppression and persecution of Jews and communists by joining the rising resistance movement, forcing his father to question his allegiances.

While the performances are unquestionably robust, this verbose and overlong saga would have been better as a TV series.

Granted, Refn has given us a touching and comprehensive account of the Danish experience during the Nazi occupation, but at two and a half hours long, the film often feels overly expositional and needlessly meandering.

Overall, the film may not be perfect, but there’s no denying that its heart is in the right place.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive