Flammen & Citronen

Today it’s 68 years since the Germans marched into Denmark, and I don’t know if it’s coincidence or design that the film Flammen & Citronen (Flame and Citron) about the Danish resistance, is on just now.

Having grown up in a country that escaped being at war, it feels slightly surreal to think about what went on just across the border in Denmark, and how different the war must seem to the descendants of those who resisted. It’s so easy to think of resistance movements as something romantic, made up for action films, but it involved normal people, going about normal life.

Flammen and Citronen were real people, and this film shows what they did and what happened to them. The film brings out the uncomfortable truth that it must have been very difficult even to know who could be trusted, and who might be double crossing you. Did Flammen and Citronen kill innocent people, or was that just lies, too?

Flammen & Citronen, Mads Mikkelsen

Beautiful film, set in Copenhagen and partly on Jutland. Citronen was played by Mads Mikkelsen, who is in everything these days. But he’s good. Was interested to find Hanns Zischler from the Swedish television series about Beck, who turns out to be German. Always thought he spoke funny. Thure Lindhardt as Flammen looked very period 1940s.

And as Daughter said, you can understand a surprising amount of what they say if you can tear your eyes away from the slightly wobbly subtitles. Subtitles aimed at the Americans, I hasten to add. Wish this film would get a wider airing than a few select cinemas. I gather it was huge in Denmark, and it deserves to be big elsewhere, too. Lucky we have Cornerhouse here for these ‘obscure’ films.

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2 responses to “Flammen & Citronen

  1. LOVED IT! If people see an opportunity to go and see it…. GO! It’s well worth it!

  2. I also thought the subtitles were wobbly – glad to have it confirmed by someone with a substantially better grasp of the language than me. (German + bits of Norwegian + addiction to Danish crime tv shows) I found myself ignoring them most of the time – everything hung together incredibly well.

    It showed in Edinburgh at the Filmhouse for two sessions a day for a couple of weeks, which was nice. I thought it was excellent, and can only agree with your comments. I’m something of a Mads Mikkelsen fan, so have no particular objection to seeing him in everything 😉 But he was good. As was Lindhardt (and I’m glad the hat/hair was a running theme. It was certainly my first thought.)

    I’ve only seen Beck dubbed in German, so have never heard Zischler speak Swedish. But that raises a bizaare situation – presumably he’s a German speaker speaking Swedish dubbed back into German by someone else…

    Anyway, the cinematography was really striking, and I liked that the whole thing was rather stylised. It made some of the murkiness more poignant than if you had had a more straightforward narrative/visual structure.

    A really impressive film, overall. I knew about certain aspects of the Danish resistance, but not the more violent/direct ones discussed here. Talk about moral dilemmas. And the ending felt like a kick in the stomach. In a full cinema, there was total silence at the time, and then crowds of people standing around afterwards looking grim.

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