• 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
Copenhagen police arrest teen as car fires continue
Firefighters extinguish a car fire in Valby over the weekend. Photo: Mathias Øgendal/Scanpix

UPDATED: A 17-year-old has been charged in connection with one of the 11 new fires over the weekend.

Danish nationalists hand out cans of 'refugee spray'
The party said it distributed more than 100 cans of its 'refugee spray'. Photo: Daniel Carlsen/ Danskernes Parti

The nationalist Danes’ Party elicited strong reactions went it took to the streets of Haderslev to hand out cans of what it called ‘refugee spray’.

Video
Metallica to open new Copenhagen arena
Metallica's James Hetfield at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in New York City's Central Park on Saturday. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Scanpix

Copenhagen’s coming multi-purpose arena will be opened in grand style with two nights of shows with the legendary band.

Melting Greenland ice could expose Cold War waste
If the ice melt is no longer offset by snowfall, toxic chemicals could start leaking into the environment. Photo: an-Morten Bjørnbakk / Scanpix

A snow-covered former US army base in Greenland -- dubbed "a city under ice" -- could leak pollutants into the environment as the climate changes, raising difficult questions over who is responsible for a clean-up.

Denmark’s asylum numbers at five-year low
Refugees and immigrants at a 'welcome party' earlier this month. Photo: Uffe Weng/Scanpix

Fewer than 300 people sought asylum in August, according to new figures released by the Immigration Ministry.

Police cameras in Pusher Street promptly torn down
Two police video cameras were installed in Christiania on Friday and more will come, police said. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

UPDATED: Copenhagen Police on Friday installed surveillance cameras in the infamous stretch of Christiania, but they lasted only a few hours.

Denmark leads effort to stop money flow to Isis
File photo of children next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and Isis in Mosul, Iraq . Photo: Stringer/Reuters/Scanpix

A former head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has been tapped to dry up the terror group's finances.

Meet Denmark's new anti-immigration party
Nye Borgerlige's Pernille Vermund and Peter Seier Christensen held a press conference on Thursday after qualifying for the next election. Photo: Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Scanpix 2016)

A new political party that promises a stricter immigration policy than the Danish People’s Party combined with a libertarian economic outlook will be on the ballot the next time Denmark holds an election.

A.P. Moller Maersk to split into transport and energy divisions
Photo: Michal Kooren/Scanpix

The Danish oil and shipping conglomerate will split into separate businesses for transport and energy as it faces headwinds in both sectors.

Iraqi may face expulsion from Denmark over Facebook post
The man was sentenced Wednesday at Copenhagen City Court. Photo: Colourbox

The man will be kicked out of the country if he commits any additional crimes.

Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
International
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Travel
Copenhagen declared world's most livable city - again!
Record number of Danes leave the church
Society
Record number of Danes leave the church
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
National
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Society
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
National
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Analysis & Opinion
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
National
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
National
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Society
Expats: Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Business & Money
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
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
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
2,238
jobs available