Denmark has a rich and varied history with cinema, which has often been overlooked in favour of other countries’ fare. The Danish fell in love with cinema ever since it began. The first Danish-produced film was released in 1897, and the first studio established as early as 1906 by Ole Olsen. Danish filmmakers and actors have been invariably acclaimed, from the heady days of Asta Nielsen and Benjamin Christensen to Carl Dreyer, and then further to Lars von Trier, and Mads Mikkelsen, among many other luminaries.
The utterly fascinating aspect about Danish cinema is that such creative endeavours are so loved and so enamoured in the spirit of brotherhood that most of their films are publicly funded. The ideals of Danish cinema are founded on freedom and cooperation, that seeps into their celebrated works. Special mention must be given to the Danish Film Institute, the national film agency instrumental in upholding the excellent standards of Danish filmmaking. Here is the list of top Danish movies ever that will hopefully spread their impact to wider audiences, and that venerate the uninhibited spirit of Danish cinematic genius. You can find some of these best Danish movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
12. Open Hearts (2002)
Susanne Bier’s cinematic triumph is on the lives of two couples, Marie-Niels and Joachim-Cecilie, whose lives intertwine with catastrophic effect. Writer Anders Thomas Jensen is at the top of his game with his frequent collaborator Bier. His sensitive script ably holds the anguish and honesty of the characters, and by extension, our riveted attention. With heartbreaking performances from the four leads (Paprika Steen, Sonja Richter, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Mads Mikkelsen), and aided by the direct and minimalist methods of the ‘Dogme 95’ structure, ‘Elsker dig for evigt’ (its original Danish name) is an indubitable emotional tour de force.
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11. The Pusher Trilogy (1996-2005)