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Northwest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sheila Seacroft   
25 07 2014

ImageDirected by Michael Noer

The Northwest of the title of this Danish thriller is the wrong-side-of-the-tracks area of Copenhagen, though its mostly neat streets are hardly Gomorrah, or even Brixton. Here 18-year-old petty criminal Caspar lives with his kid brother (real life brothers Gustav and Oscar Dyekjaer Giese) and adored little sister, burglaring posh flats for the local second generation immigrant petty criminal Jamal. Family is all-important to him, and a good part of his motivation is to help his well-intentioned mother, struggling to manage on her cleaner's wage, provide for the family. In return she turns an optimistic blind eye to his doings, and only asks that he keep his kid brother out of it. Easier said than done.

When Caspar accidentally comes up against and is taken on as apprentice by a real ‘old Copenhagen' Mr Big and his rather quirky circle, including the particularly entertaining thicko Theis (Clement Black Petersen), eager kid brother gets involved and soon is to prove himself the harder of the two. While it's hardly an original story, it's told in a fresh and immediate way in freewheeling documentary fashion with a thumping score that really engages the audience with this restless and really quite personable young man. Sibling love and sibling rivalry, young masculinity, the apparent inescapability of environment, and not a little humour come together very well.

Seen at Transilvania Film Festival, Cluj, June 2013

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