• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Video
Star film director: I’m ashamed to be Danish
Danish director Thomas Vinterberg speaks at the press conference to present his film 'Kollektivet' screened in the competition of the 66th Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin on Wednesday. Photo: TOBIAS

Star film director: I’m ashamed to be Danish

The Local · 18 Feb 2016, 13:33

Published: 18 Feb 2016 13:33 GMT+01:00

Vinterberg is busy promoting his newest film ‘The Commune’ (Kollektivet) which is based on his own experiences growing up in a Copenhagen collective in the 1970s.
 
The film was shown at the Berlin Film Festival on Wednesday and the director used a press conference to weigh in to his country’s response to the European refugee crisis, saying Denmark has moved far away from the society it was when he grew up. 
 
“I wrote this [film] out of longing. There was a time when people were sharing. Those days are over and I miss that," he told reporters. 
 
He then said that while he didn’t go out of his way to make a “politically correct” film, he has strong feelings about the current atmosphere in Denmark.
 
“I’m very shameful to be a Dane. I’m very shameful about the political life in our country and if there’s anything that can be brought from this film to inspire people to share and not humiliate other people I would be very happy,” he said to applause.
 
See the remarks here (skip to 3:50 if you just want to hear the political comments). Story continues below.

Reaction to his comments were swift in Denmark. Readers of the right-leaning Jyllands-Posten posted nearly 500 comments on Facebook, with many pointing out that the same Denmark that Vinterberg is so ashamed of has helped to finance his films. 
 
“Such a clown; he wouldn’t be anything if he hadn’t been financed by the Danes he despises. Another member of ‘Upper Class Denmark’ who is happy to shit in his own nest while also gladly taking taxpayer money for their projects,” Jan Svendsen wrote in a comment that garnered nearly 400 likes.  
 
Vinterberg is best known for his film 'The Celebration' (Festen), part of the Dogme 95 movement. He also directed 'The Hunt' (Jagten), a 2014 Oscar nominee, and the 2015 film adaptation of the novel ‘Far From the Maddening Crowd’. 
 
Vinterberg is not the first Danish celebrity to slam the country’s refugee response. ‘The Killing’ star Sofie Gråbøl recently wrote a piece for The Guardian in which she said she has “a hard time recognising my country right now” and “want[s] to be proud about Denmark, but it’s not easy”.
 
Story continues below…
Pop star Medina, meanwhile, called Integration Minister Inger Støjberg “an idiot” who has ruined Denmark’s reputation while singer Mads Langer said many Danes are “sickened and embarrassed” by the country’s current direction. 
 
A trailer for Vinterberg's 'The Commune' can be seen here:
 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Danish lawmakers denied access to Nauru migrant camp
Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said denying her access was "unacceptable and anti-democratic". Photo: MARIE HALD/Scanpix

Delegation drops a planned visit to the controversial Australian immigration centre after two politicians who criticised the centre were denied access.

Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
The immigration proposals were just one part of PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen's 2025 Plan. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Gestsson/Scanpix

As part of the government’s so-called 2025 Plan released on Tuesday, a full 44 initiatives were introduced within the area of immigration.

Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
A June photo of the refugee tent camp in Næstved. Photo: Linda Kastrup / Scanpix

The number of people claiming asylum in Denmark has reached its lowest point since border controls were implemented in January.

More cars torched as Copenhagen fires continue
One of the cars burnt in the previous round of fires. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

UPDATED: A new round of vehicle fires for the second night in the row brings the total over 30.

Expats: Denmark 'world's worst' for making friends
68 percent of expats in Denmark said they had difficulty making local friends. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

UPDATED: Denmark is one of the hardest countries to settle in to as a foreigners, according to a new survey.

Despite arrest, new car fires in Copenhagen
Police have not made an arrest for the two new fires. Photo: Colourbox

Total number of burnt vehicles is now over 25.

Danish women-led mosque makes Scandinavian history
The decision to bar men from the prayers drew criticism from some quarters. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Copenhagen's Mariam Mosque's first Friday prayers kick off the 'Islamic feminist' project.

Danish politicians cleared on charge of housing migrants
Maria Sloth (right) and Anne Hegelund hug a supporter before their court appearance earlier this month. Photo: Axel Schutt/Scanpix

The women had been charged with violating immigration laws by giving two African men a place to stay for the night.

Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Jesper Rønow Simonsen was at the helm as Skat was defrauded for billions and forced to scrap its debt collection system. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix

The director general of Skat has been removed from his job with immediate effect as the agency tries to clean up at least a 12 billion kroner mess.

Danish city’s proposed burqa ban fails
The politician who proposed the ban said he had heard from many concerned residents. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

A proposal to bar public workers from wearing burqas and niqabs was dropped after a deadlocked vote.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
2,216
jobs available