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The Promised Land

Bastarden

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Mads Mikkelsen cuts a formidable figure in this enthralling period drama, set in mid-18th century Jutland. As the earthier original Danish title indicates, Mikkelsen’s Ludvig Kahlen is illegitimate, the son of a maid who nonetheless earns himself the rank of captain in the King’s army, and persuades the crown to back him in a plan to farm the inhospitable northern heath lands. As if this wasn’t challenge enough, Ludvig must contend with the nefarious enmity of the county judge (Simon Bennebjerg), an unscrupulous landowner who despises this unwelcome interloper.

Co-written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel, whose 2012 collaboration with Mikkelsen, A Royal Affair, resulted in an Academy Award nomination, The Promised Land is a good old fashioned melodrama told with vigor and finesse, and reflective of contemporary concerns around equality and diversity. It’s also a fabulous reminder of just how good an actor Mads Mikkelsen really is.

This is a big Nordic Western that maintains its gravitas throughout… The Promised Land is a terrific story driven by skillful writing and strong performances. There’s an art to bringing vitality and modernity to historical drama, and Arcel shows a firm grasp of it.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Director
Cast

Mads Mikkelsen, Amanda Collin

Credits
Country of Origin

Denmark/Germany/Sweden

Year

2023

Series

Special Presentations

Langauge

In Danish with English subtitles

Film Contact
Content Warning

Violence, Depictions of Racism

18+
127 min
Action & Suspense Drama

Book Tickets

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Credits

Producer

Louise Vesth

Screenwriter

Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel

Cinematography

Rasmus Videbæk

Editor

Oliviér Bugge Coutté

Director

Nikolaj Arcel headshot

Nikolaj Arcel

Arcel has written a large number of scripts including the adaptation of the first film in the highly acclaimed Millennium trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009). His feature film A Royal Affair, which he both wrote and directed, won the Silver Bear for best script at Berlin in 2012 and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language category. Since then Arcel has directed The Dark Tower, and has written a number of critically acclaimed films, which makes him one of the most sought-after both writers and directors in Scandinavia.

Filmography: Truth About Men (2010); A Royal Affair (2012); The Dark Tower (2017)

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