Our Favourite Danish Movies

Simple Danish Newsletter #6

Hi friends,

We are still very much in the process of moving, so we’ll keep this newsletter on the short side, and share with you our favourite Danish movies. All of the movies are with Danish language, so if you can find them with subtitles, then absolutely see if you can follow along.

A lot of them are going to be hard to understand for beginners, or even intermediary learners due to dialects and a fast pace, but they are still a view into Danish culture, humour, and life.

So here are a few of our Favourite Danish movies in no particular order:

❤️ Our Favourite Danish Movies

Druk / Another Round

Four High School teachers start drinking every day as an experiment to test a hypothesis, that humans are born with blood alcohol level that is 0,05% too low. This movie was everywhere in Denmark when it came out, only exacerbated by the fact that it won an Oscar for best International Feature Film. So was the Movie’s main soundtrack “What a life by Danish Scarlet Pleasure. The movie is directed by Thomas Vinterberg, which is a name you will see a lot in Danish cinema.

Jagten / The Hunt

A teacher in a small Danish town has his life shattered by a false accusation. This movie is also directed by Thomas Vinterberg, and features a lot of the same cast as Druk.

Adams Æbler / Adam’s Apples

We shared this movie previously in one of our previous newsletters, but we feel it is worth sharing again. Here’s what we wrote then: Adams Æbler / Adam’s Apples by Anders Thomas Jensen is one of the most quintesentially-Danish movies I can think of. The plot is described on IMDB as: “A neo-Nazi sentenced to community service at a church clashes with the blindly devoted minister (played by Mads Mikkelsen).” I find this movie absolutely hilarious. It is Danish humour at its finest (or dumbest) but I still think there’s something distinctly Danish about it. Either you will love it or you will hate it. If you have watched a couple other Danish movies, you will no doubt recognize the cast of Mads Mikkelsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Paprika Steen, Nicolas Bro.

De grønne slagtere / The Green Butchers

This one is also by Anders Thomas Jensen, in the same category of Absurd and Hilarious as Adam’s Apples. Two friends open their own butcher shop and are struggling, until an electrician accidentally dies in the freezer and he is sold as marinated “chicken”.

Efter brylluppet / After the wedding

A classic by another of the great Danish Directors, Susanne Bier. After the wedding follows Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen), a manager of an orphanage in India who travels to Denmark to raise funding for his orphanage, where he instead discovers a life altering secret that means he has some impossible decisions to make.

Den skaldede frisør / The Bald Hairdresser

A hairdresser who has lost her hair to cancer, finds out her husband is having an affair, travels to Italy for her daughter’s wedding, and meets a widower (Pierce Brosnan) who still blames the world for the loss of his wife. This beautiful and funny movie is also directed by Susanne Bier and co-written by Anders Thomas Jensen.

Olsen banden / The Olsen Gang

The Olsen gang follows the trio of Egon Olsen, Benny and Kjeld as they carry out Egon’s hilarious, elaborate and genius criminal plots that always end up foiled at the last moments. The movies are truly Danish Classics and you will not find a dane who does not know the movies. A total of 14 movies were produced from 1968 and in the next thirty years. Finding these movies online is a bit more difficult, but they seem to be available for a fee at Nordisk Film +

Den skyldige / The Guilty

This very intense movie is shot in a single room, but still manages to be very fast paced and intense. You follow a police officer assigned to pick up the phone at alarm dispatch, as he answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman and tries his best to help her even though he is confined to his desk. The movie was adapted for an “international audience” in a similarly titled movie, featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, however, you should obviously watch the original one first 😉

Kunsten at græde i kor / The art of crying

I am not going to lie. This one is tough, and uncomfortable to watch. I have watched it once, and not again since then. However, I thought it deserved a mention as it is a kind of classic, within the genre of rough and realistic movies. In the movie, you follow a dysfunctional family in the 70’s, burdened by an evil, abusing father who manipulates his kids with the threat of suicide.

And last but not least, our …

Idiom of the week: At have skudt papegøjen

To shoot the parrot, or to have shot the parrot, means to be very lucky. It can also mean to have gotten hold of a very valuable object or person. It is in a sensee the opposite of having bought the cat in the sack. Here’s a few examples:

  • Rasmus har skudt papegøjen med hende Antonina. Hun er godt nok sød.
  • Jeg har skudt papegøjen her I weekenden på loppemarkedet.

That’s all from us for this week. We hope you have enjoyed this week’s newsletter. You can let us know what you think by replying to this mail.

Have a great week 😊

Best regards,
Antonina & Rasmus