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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Danish Movie for You

Trying to keep things a little light for a few more days. I mean, how many times can you talk about Russian "collusion" or the peaceful nature of modern Islam?

So, we talk movies.

For most of the past century, movies have been dominated by Anglo-American films. Well, that might remain so now, but there is some truly excellent work being done in other countries which is well-worth watching.

Saw a non-Anglo-American film today on Amazon which I highly recommend. It's a Danish production from some three years ago, but I had not heard of it before. It's variously titled "9. April," "April 9" and "April 9th." You will find it under one or all of those names when you search. As you can probably guess, it's about the 9th of April . . . 1940, that is. That being date the Nazis invaded Denmark and in a few scant hours forced the government in Copenhagen to capitulate. The tiny, poorly equipped, and politically hobbled Danish armed forces had no chance against the Germans' aircraft, armor, and well-equppied and motorized infantry. Denmark was quickly occupied. That, of course, as we have discussed here before, did not mean that the Danes just rolled over and played dead for the Germans. The Danes subsequently drove their occupiers mad with a mix of active and passive aggressive resistance--and saved nearly their entire Jewish population from the Nazi extermination camps. Worth a read.

This little film is not about that post-occupation resistance. Based on a true story, it tells of a small unit of bicycle-mounted Danish infantry told to stop or at least delay the German advance. The Danes are sent on their bikes towards the border with Germany in the wake of reports of German troops crossing that border. The Danish government had decided not to pre-deploy its army for fear of "provoking" the Nazis.

The film is beautifully shot with a great sense of pace and timing. With a blend of an excellent low-key musical score, wonderful editing, and direction, it even manages to produce a feeling of suspense, even if we all know the outcome. The production seems to have paid a lot of attention to period detail, with clothing, uniforms, vehicles, and weapons mostly right. It has some absolutely wonderful scenes, kind of evoking "Private Ryan," of the Danes on bicycles moving across the screen, backlit by the impending sunrise. The acting, by the way, is very good; the actors manage to convey the sense of duty and at the same time of hopelessness that the real participants must have felt as they peddaled towards the panzers. Whether it intended to or not, the film is also an interesting exposition on leadership. The character of the second Lieutenant, played by Pilou Asbæk of "Game of Thrones" and "The Borgias" fame, is an excellent study in the demands of leadership, and the stresses it produces. Very nicely done. The battle scenes, by the way, are extremely well shot. Again, some of the urban combat reminds of that in "Private Ryan." The battle ends as we all know it does, so I am not giving anything away by noting that the Lieutenant orders his unit to surrender once he realizes the hopelessness of his position. The irony being, of course, that the government in Copenhagen had agreed to German terms hours before.

OK, without getting too philosophical, or reading too much into a movie, I think I am noting a sort of conservative revolt underway in some recent Scandinavian film. The wonderful Norwegian series "Occupied," the movie "Max Manus," this one under discussion, and some others seem to show that underneath all the soy boy inclusiveness and welcoming of "refugees" that we have seen in recent years in Scandinavia, there is a bubbling caldron of nationalist resistance to the political correctness that is destroying those societies.

I hope so.

28 comments:

  1. What? Resisting a totalitarian enemy? That's what you do with facebook posts and heavily 'liked' comments, not with guts, cunning, and firepower.
    Seriously, the next line of thriller action movies are going to feature pajama boys ganging up to down-vote the bad guy into submission. Join The Resistance! (don't worry, you won't have to get dressed.)
    :)

    - reader #1482

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  2. Just watched it. Thanks for the recommendation

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  3. Thanks for the 9. April recommendation. I look forward to watching it.

    Similarly, the very different Norwegian-American production, Lillyhammer, is worth a look because it is very entertaining (American mobster, very similar to The Sopranos' Silvio Dante character and played by Little Steven Van Zandt, enters witness protection program sets up new life in remote Norway to mostly comic effect) and because it skillfully pokes fun at Scandinavian political correctness run amok. Given the latter, it may or may not be a surprise that it was a big hit in Norway. (Find it on Netflix.)

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    Replies
    1. Loved the first season of Lillyhammer. The second season decided to go for exposing Swedish racism and laud immigration. Apparently they couldn't stand two seasons of non PC entertainment. I suspect the writers may have a different opinion now,

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  4. The mainstream media is finally starting to run the article about the Trump supporter college student who got kicked out of medical school at the University of Virginia for publicly debating with a far-left SJW communist professor. Here are two new ones:

    https://bigleaguepolitics.com/college-student-suspended-for-antagonizing-sjw-microaggression-lecture/?utm_source=srp002

    https://www.halseynews.com/2019/01/02/kieran-bhattacharya-kicked-out-of-school-for-questioning-sjw-lecture/

    Someone also took the time to type up a transcript of the events which happened: https://www.minds.com/blog/view/927181909976616960

    Reddit is freaking out about the story too, of course. 1000s of comments on these threads:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ChapoTrapHouse/comments/absqb1/4chan_red_piller_gets_kicked_out_of_med_school/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/medicine/comments/abigoo/ms1_suspended_after_challenging_microaggressions/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/UVA/comments/ab1dy7/university_of_virginia_med_student_receives_1year/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Drama/comments/abloyy/medical_student_burns_every_bridge_past_present/


    This story, known as MedGate, has the potential to create a mass public outcry against our far left college system, and thus cause real damage to the student debt loan bubble.

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  5. I've just finished watching a BBC production of Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders.

    A minor part of the plot involved the atrocities perpetrated by the Germans in Belgium in 1914. I found that interesting; two generations and more of historians had denied the occurrence of those atrocities, and yet now here they are featured in a 'tec story.

    I guess, but I suspect that some historians simply have had a bias against the liberal democracies. Belgium, France, and Britain were all liberal democracies in a way that the German Empire - in spite of its wide franchise - wasn't. That supposition also explains part of the pro-Soviet bias of many historians, and many of the things they write about medieval history. They seem just to be attracted to authoritarian, centralised governments. Bad buggers, eh?

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    Replies
    1. If you want an eye-opening history of the First World War, and its deliberate prolonging to achieve its aim--a complete destruction of Britain's main economic rival--get a copy of "Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War," by Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor.

      You can also purchase a copy of their companion history, "Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WW1 by Three-and-a-half Years."

      The sideshow called Gallipoli was to assuage the Russians to stay in the war without giving them Constantinople; Kitchener was talking peace in 1915 and sent to his death on a substandard ship; and other examples of what was done behind the scenes by Britain's political classes, never to be contemporaneously revealed.

      As a Great War historian, I couldn't put either book down. Both opened my eyes to another way of thinking about the war, and the reasons for its battles and strategies.

      Well researched as far it could be done given the sources, extensively footnoted, and written in the last two years (2017). Both are highly recommended to the readers of DM's blog.

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  6. Legions of true heroes are covered up by the sands of time ...

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    Replies
    1. ... or the pens of revisionism... *cough*.. I mean 'new found sensibilities!'

      - reader #1482

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  7. I recommend "Flame and Citron" an excellent Danish WW2 film.

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  8. Denmark was in interesting "sideshow" for the entire war.

    The underground weapons manufacturing is reasonably well known.

    Less familiar is the story of their electronic exploits. There was this little company called "Bang and Olafsen", who produced the WORLD's first UHF radio system and its specialized antennae. It operated in a band that the Germans could not monitor. So, for the entire war, the Danish underground maintained undetected radio communications with Sweden and thus, SOE in England.

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  9. I am hoping that the Norwegians remember how to Go Viking, before it is too late!

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  10. There are some goodies coming out of Bollywood, too. Lot of fluff but there are meatier ones here and there. "Iqbal" about a deaf kid wanting to play on the Indian national cricket team, "A Soldier is Always on Duty" juxtaposing the Mumbai attacks and the inevitable big wedding dance number are a couple.

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  11. The Danish resistance was responsible for getting Niels Bohr out of the country under the noses of the Germans. Once out, it was found that, in the hubbub, Bohr had forgotten to bring with him his sample of heavy water, which he kept in a Carlsberg Beer bottle in his fridge. They had to send a guy back to get it. I've always wondered what the guy thought about risking his life for a bottle of beer...

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    Replies
    1. OTOH, quite a lot of Danes joined the SS.

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    2. Well *shrug*, so did a lot of Dutch, Belgians, French, Italians, Serbs, Croatians, Ukrainians, Russians, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians and Norwegians. So what's your point?

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    3. Yes, the urge to go Quisling is found to have no borders.

      Delete
  12. These days, it seems that "Hollywood" movies are mostly made in Canada for an international non-English speaking audience. Hence the emphasis on splashy visuals and the downplaying of plot and dialog.

    Korean movies are well worth some time. An interesting feature is that many Korean movies start with the premise that much of their government and police forces are corrupt. They also generally adhere to the pre-Political Correctness guideline that the bad guys have to pay a price.

    One rather interesting & beautifully photographed Korean movie is "The Handmaid". Set in Japanese-occupied Korea, it has a very convoluted plot involving the machinations of a Korean con-man, a rich Japanese heiress, and the crooked Korean maid he hires for his schemes. (Warning: there is some plot-essential Lesbianism).

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  13. A week later, but I watched April 9th last night via Amazon. Rent for $3 or you can buy it for $6 . Heh. I recommend. No female leads, no diversity, no modern crap. Period correct and well done. It's sober and worthwhile, but not achingly sad like Galipoli. They did a good job.

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  14. East Texas RancherJanuary 7, 2019 at 8:31 AM

    Dip,
    It was a great movie. The minute those poor Danish boys on bicycles took a look at the Armored Personnel Carriers (or the German version) came around the bend was the maximum effect of seeing what they were up against. Another moment that was priceless was when the 2nd Lt was asked by the German officer they surrendered to, why they fought so hard when their gov't had already surrendered....the look on his face was priceless.
    Great movie....

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  15. I just finished watching it. Was pretty good.

    This one is better:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxpzGOm_vQg

    "The Lost Battalion"

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    Replies
    1. Good? No, great! Just now finished it. Like St Polycarpos, I only hope to rise to the occasion with as much courage as he, and they had.

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    2. Not completely inknown: Michael F Adams

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  16. This sounds better than "Dunkirk" was.

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  17. Watched it today as furlough-fare. Excellent recommendation!

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