“1864”— Two Brothers and a War


Two Brothers and a War

Amos Lassen

When Prussia and Austria declare war on Denmark, two brothers are called to serve in the bloodiest battle in Denmark’s history. This is a new television series that has been called “a triumph for Nordic Noir, for television as a whole, and for viewers who owe it to themselves to watch this drama.” It is an 8-part drama about the time when Germany and Prussia teamed up to declare war on Denmark, and it’s effect on two brothers – Peter (Jens Sætter-Lassen) and Laust Jensen (Jakob Oftebro) – who sign up to take part in what became the bloodiest battle in Denmark’s history.

The series is narrated by Inge (Marie Tourell Søderberg), the lover to both Peter and Laust as she looks back on her life in her memoirs which are read in the present day by Claudia (Sarah-Sofie Boussnina), a schoolgirl sent by Social Services to care for partially-sighted old man in a wheelchair Severin (Waage Sandø). We, at first, do not know why the memoirs in his house but all shall be revealed in due course.

The story begins in South Funen, Denmark, 1851, when the Danish defeated both the Prussians and also the insurgents from Slesvig. As a boy, Peter Jensen is given a book about flowers – written in Swedish – for his birthday. Parallels are made in the present day to soldiers going off to war, and the series moves regularly between present and the past.

Actress Johanne Louise Heiberg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is helping Councillor Monrad (Nicolas Bro) to overcome his fear of speaking to a crowd, with him enlisting her help.

This is a Danish drama of love in the time of war that reaches across eras to connect individual lives, confront a nation’s trauma, and examine the events of an epic war that formed the self-image of Denmark. Director Ole Bornedal read the letters of the soldiers to create a factual fairy tale. This was originally shot as a feature film and is now available as eight episodes. Bornedal has brought together the top acting talent of the current golden era of Denmark’s film and television for this project.

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