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We Shall Overcome

  • Film

Time Out says

Sorry Boss fans, not a doc on Springsteen’s latest, but a civil rights-tinged school drama set in Denmark, 1969. Financed by Lars von Trier’s Zentropa, it offers a more conventional Danish take on US culture than his own ‘Dogville’ or ‘Manderlay’: Frits (Janus Dissing Rathke), a Martin Luther King-obsessed, Beatles mop-wearing 13-year-old, exits blood-soaked with half his ear hanging off from brutal headmaster Lindum-Svendsen’s (Bent Mejding) office. Lindum-Svendsen’s gone too far this time, and with his father, recovering from a mental breakdown, and progressive music master Mr Svale (‘Hi, call me Freddie’), Frits stands up for justice.

Apparently based on the director’s own experiences, with its irredeemably authoritarian villain and prodigiously political young hero (he corrects his teachers about Danish slavery), ‘We Shall Overcome’ comes across as some hip filmmaker’s fantasy of a cool ’60s childhood – at one cringeworthy point even turning into ‘School of Rock’. But it’s enjoyably rousing, and cinematographer Lars Vestergard works miracles turning the Danish countryside into bright slices of Americana.
Written by Nick Funnell

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Friday 17 November 2006
  • Duration:109 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Niels Arden Oplev
  • Screenwriter:Niels Arden Oplev, Steen Bille
  • Cast:
    • Bent Mejding
    • Anders W Berthelsen
    • Jens Jørn Spottag
    • Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis
    • Peter Hesse Overgaard
    • Sarah Juel Werner
    • Janus Dissing Rathke
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