Lindholm latest focuses on Denmark in Afghanistan

A scene from Dane Tobias Lindholm's new film A War, set against the backdrop of his home country's involvement in Afghanistan
Damon Smith

A WAR (15, 115 mins) Drama/War.

Tuva Novotny, Pilou Asbæk, Dar Salim.

Director: Tobias Lindholm

WRITER-director Tobias Lindholm (The Hunt, A Hijacking) offers a fresh perspective on the war in Afghanistan in this edge-of-the-seat drama, which has been selected by Denmark as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Film statuette at this year's Academy Awards.

Events unfold through the eyes of Commander Claus M Pedersen (Pilou Asbek), who kisses farewell to his wife Maria (Tuva Novotny) and three children to lead his soldiers stationed in battle-scarred Helmand province.

During a mission, Pedersen and his company are pinned down by heavy gunfire and the commander has to make a split-second decision which has devastating consequences for troops on the ground. Meanwhile, back in Denmark, Maria struggles to raise her brood alone without the physical and emotional support of her husband.

PARTISAN (15, 94 mins) Drama/Thriller.

Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel, Florence Mezzara.

Director: Ariel Kleiman

GREGORI (Vincent Cassel) is the self-anointed leader of a closed commune in an isolated compound, which includes several women and their children. As the only man in the cult, Gregori adopts the role of surrogate father to the youngsters and he warps their moral compasses by training them to kill using paintball guns in place of real weapons.

Separated from the outside world, the children accept this conditioning without question and are primed for senseless violence. Eleven-year-old Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel) lives in the commune with his pregnant mother Susanna (Florence Mezzara) and has been moulded into a pint-sized assassin by Gregori.

When another boy called Leo (Alex Balaganskiy), who has recently arrived with his mother (Katalin Hegedus), protects a defenceless chicken from slaughter, Alexander begins to question the killing of all animals including humans. This curiosity eventually pits the boy against Gregori, who does not tolerate defiance of his teachings.

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