With a sharp awareness of genre, Fenar Ahmad injects a shot of adrenalin into Danish cinema with the action-packed, box-office hit, Darkland. A revenge thriller taking its stylistic cues from early Nicolas Winding Refn and layered with social criticism, Darkland has been celebrated for its fresh and thrilling portrayal of the ‘two worlds’ of Denmark: the overworld and the underworld.
Zaid (Dar Salim, Borgen, Game of Thrones) is an upper-class successful Danish surgeon of Muslim heritage. He has a Danish wife and lives in one of Copenhagen’s most fashionable areas – far from the dangerous and congested neighbourhood where he grew up. But when his criminal brother is found murdered, Zaid is pulled back into the brutal world he escaped so many years ago. Finding no help in local detective Claus (Roland Møller, Land of Mine, Scandi FF 2016), who dismisses the case as ‘another Muslim gang-related attack’, Zaid realises he must be the one to avenge his brother and clean up Copenhagen’s underbelly. As he delves back into the depths of the darkland, the film takes us on a synth-filled, neon coloured journey through Copenhagen’s nightlife.