The national Danish film festival in Odense is over. Under the competent leadership of Cecilia Lidin a big competitive international programme of short fiction films supplemented the competition of new Danish short films and documentaries. The Grand Prix for the best Danish film 2008-2009 went to Christian Sønderby Jepsen for his charming and surprising “Side om Side”. Here is a repeat of the review that was brought on this site:
Around 20 minutes into this staged documentary I started to get impatient. Come on, make the story move, we got the message, the neighbours dont like each others, they dont talk, it is a silent war, where they will not fight or terrorise each other as in subjectwise similar films like the classic of Norman Maclaren. But then it takes a turn. The filmmaker asks his father, one of the neighbours, what was the biggest moment in his life. Difficult question to answer for a man, who has difficulties to express emotions, but he gives the answer. And the filmmaker goes to the neighbour to give us a positive impression of him.
We will never sit down and have coffee and pastries, says the father of the filmmaker about the conflict. More than a decade ago something happened that created a total split up between the two families. The result was that a fence grew up, a kind of no-mans land, a Berlin wall, in otherwise peaceful Western Jutland of Denmark in a town called Tarm. Where they speak a strong dialect and express a certain kind of stubbornness. Because nobody really recalls what happened, nobody knows who owes an apology.
The film is brilliant to look at, the mise-en-scène style is carried through, a promising debut, that reminds me of the early films of Jon Bang Carlsen.
Denmark, 2008, 47 mins.