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Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning drama In a Better World (Hævnen).
Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning drama In a Better World (Hævnen).

Lifestyle

Go on location with prize-winning Danish films and TV shows

Danish films and TV shows are winning prizes like never before, and not just in Denmark, but abroad too. Here is our guide to how you can relive the atmosphere of Oscar and BAFTA winners on location in Denmark.

The Hunt (Jagten)

Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), who is accused of being a pedophile and is subsequently ostracized by the local community, is partly filmed in Gadstrup near Roskilde. Photo: Charlotte Bruus Christensen/DFI

Thomas Vinterberg’s film about Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), who is accused of being a pedophile and is subsequently ostracized by the local community, is partly filmed in Gadstrup near Roskilde. Dagli’Brugsen is where Lucas is refused service and pelted with tin cans by the locals. Høje Taastrup church is used as the backdrop for Midnight Mass at the climax of the film, and Bruun’s hunting lodge can be found in Ishøj. To experience the countryside shown in the hunting scenes, take yourself off to Holte and Tappernøje.

In a Better World (Hævnen)

Mikael Persbrandt in Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning drama about revenge and forgiveness.

Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning drama about revenge and forgiveness was filmed in southern Funen and Langeland. The silo in Rudkøbing Harbor on Langeland is the secret (and dangerous) refuge for the two boys, Christian and Elias, and Rudkøbing School forms the backdrop for the boys’ revenge over the school bully, which ends with terrible consequences. Svendborg railway station is where Anton and his son Elias meet on his return from Africa. The auto repair shop at Engvej 41 in Faaborg is where the fateful bomb explodes.

The Celebration (Festen)

Helge (Henning Moritzen) in The Celebration. Photo: Lars Hoegsted

Thomas Vinterberg’s breakthrough film and prizewinner at Cannes, in which an adult son reveals at his father’s 60th birthday party that his father had systematically sexually abused him and his twin sister when they were children. The party was held at Skjoldenæsholm Castle, Jystrup Sj. near Ringsted. The main building dates from 1766 and since 1971 has operated as a hotel and conference center, with its own golf course.

Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren)

Bille August was behind this Oscar-winner, which starred Pelle Hvenegaard and Max von Sydow in the leading roles. Pelle and Lassefar are poor day-laborers from Skåne who seek a better life on Bornholm but end up at the bottom of the heap at the Stengården estate. In real life, Stengården is called Bregnegården and is not on Bornholm, but in Leestrup near Præstø. The harvest festival scene was filmed at Beldringe Gods near Præstø. And if you are in Bagenkop on Langeland, you might just recognize the wreck scene, which was filmed here.

Babette’s Feast (Babettes Gæstebud)

The story of Babette, French chef extraordinaire, who through her culinary artistry opens up a world of pleasure and passion in an otherwise straight-laced religious community. Photo: Peter Gabriel/DFI

Gabriel Axel’s film of Karen Blixen’s novel was the first Danish film to win an Oscar back in 1987. The story of Babette, French chef extraordinaire, who through her culinary artistry opens up a world of pleasure and passion in an otherwise straight-laced religious community, was filmed in Vigsø near Hanstholm and in nearby Mårup church, which plays a key role in the story.

Borgen

Borgen is about the female prime minister Birgitte Nyborg's (Sisse Babett Knudsen) rise to power. Photo: DR

This series, about a female prime minister’s rise to power, is naturally enough shot mainly at the home of the Danish parliament, Christiansborg Palace. If you want to follow in the footsteps of Birgitte Nyborg and see the corridors of power from the inside, free tours are available every Sunday. The scenes at the Expres newspaper are filmed out at DR Byen in Amager, where guided tours are also available. For the complete experience, you can follow the route from DR Byen to Eberts Villaby klos up at Amagerbrogade. This is where Birgitte Nyborg lives in the series.

The Killing (Forbrydelsen)

Sofie Gråbøl in The Killing. Photo: Tine Harden/DR

This film noir series about Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Lund, who has to solve the brutal murder of a high school student, can be relived all over Copenhagen. The body of Nanna Birk Larsen was found in Pinseskoven forest at Kalvebod Fælled in Amager. The characteristic corner house where Sarah Lund lives can be found in Østerbro at the corner of Middelfartgade and Vardegade. The father of the murdered girl, Theis Birk Larsen, who was a suspect for a time, lived in Humlebyen near Carlsberg. And then of course there is the imposing Copenhagen Police Headquarters, which you can see from the inside if you book a guided tour through the Police Museum.

Sources: visitdenmark, DFI, danskefilm.dk

Text: Lise Hannibal

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