We Shall Overcome

Film, Drama

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.

By: Nick Funnell



Release details

Release date:
Friday November 17 2006
109 mins

Cast and crew

Niels Arden Oplev
Niels Arden Oplev, Steen Bille
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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