Rotterdam International Film Festival, OFF Camera
Off Camera Main Award International Competition
Rasmus Bjerg, Mohammed Ismail Mohammed, Zaki Youssef
New Europe Film Sales
In Copenhagen, an everyday moment is interrupted by an explosion — the deadliest terrorist bombing in the history of Denmark. One year later, the tragedy has been appropriated by the National Movement, a political party led by Martin Nordahl (Rasmus Bjerg), who wishes to get rid of every immigrant. In this tense climate, where Muslims are unfairly blamed for everything, 19-year-old Zakaria (Mohammed Ismail Mohammed) becomes radicalized and joins the ranks of a group formed by Hassan (Imad Abul-Foul), who intends to respond to violence with violence, notably by targeting the “Sons of Denmark,” a far-right organization. Hassan proposes a mission to Zakaria: assassinate Nordahl. Preparation is thorough as the young man trains with another member of the group, Ali (Zaki Youssef). Alas, things won't go according to plan on the fateful night...
With Islamophobia expressing itself increasingly openly in several regions of the world, SONS OF DENMARK is a film as timely as it gets. Loaded, provocative, disturbing, this first feature written and directed by Ulaa Salim depicts the way extremism only creates more extremism, leading to a vicious circle of violence from which no one escapes unscathed. Salim delivers a riveting thriller with expressive images, particularly during the numerous nocturnal scenes, drenched in visual atmosphere recalling David Fincher's style. The narrative goes to some very dark, sometimes unbearable places, but it also includes glimpses of humanity. Even if you don't approve of their actions, you can only feel empathy for the protagonists, who live in a society where they don't always feel welcome. – Kevin Laforest
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