Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Accused (Anklaget)

Both camera work and story are what you could describe as ‘tight focus’. Debut feature film director Jacob Thuesen wastes nothing in this powerful family drama. Its plot is quite a familiar news item these day’s, sexual abuse of the under aged. A teenage girl accuses her father of incest and the film deals mainly with the affects it has, not only on his life but how it affected his wife, friends and working environment. 
A happily married couple?
Married couple Henrik (Troels Lyby) and Nina (Sofie Grabol) would have a very happy relationship except for their 14-year-old daughter Stine (Kirstine Rosenkrands Mikkelsen) who is becoming more insular and has almost stopped talking to her them completely. She is receiving psychological treatment at school and she tells her psychologist that the reason for her behaviour is that her father has been sexually abusing her since she was eleven! The police arrest Henrik and put him in the isolation wing of the prison because of the expected treatment he will receive from the other prisoners. When he eventually appears before a judge he is found not guilty and released. Stine is sent away for further treatment. But the accusation will not go away.  His job as a swimming teacher is affected, his friends start to distance themselves and although Nina believes her husband how can she turn her back on her own daughter?
The accused.
This is an exceptionally thought provoking study of a taboo subject pretty much like another riveting Danish drama The Hunt (2012) and I for one cannot understand why Accused (2005) was never shown in the UK until Arrow Films released it on DVD in 2013. The story is made totally believable by some convincing acting from Troels Lyby as the father, an actor I am not familiar with, but his work certainly deserves more exposure in the UK. Two of the other actors in the film you will recognise immediately. Sofie Grabol, who played Sarah Lund in the BBC4 hit TV series The Killing between 2007 and 2012 is Nina a mother torn between her belief in her husband and her love for her damaged daughter, and the other is Soren Malling, a Danish TV star that you will know as Torben Frills in Borgan 2010-2013 and possible as Peter Ludvigson in A Hijacking (2012), as Henrik’s rather inept lawyer.

A dark intense film that underscores the ugly side of family life where you never quite know who is actually telling the truth and who is not? A movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

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