We Shall Overcome

Print

Image

Director: NIELS ARDEN OPLEV

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. may seem like an unlikely hero for a Scandinavian coming-of-age story, but director Oplev’s decorated ‘60s-set drama (nominated for 16 Danish Robert Awards and winner of six) has little time for convention.

Thirteen-year-old Frits enrolls at a new middle school in this small Danish town, his shaggy haircut quickly drawing the unwanted attention of sadistic principal Lindum-Svendsen, a firm believer in corporal punishment. When a hippie substitute teacher from Copenhagen introduces his class to Dr. King’s concept of nonviolent resistance, Frits launches a movement to bring down the tyrant that may cause irreparable rifts in the community frightened by conformity. Oplev’s fact-based tale, a kind of Scandinavian If…, “has us rooting for its young hero all the way,” in this well-made, refreshingly unsentimental fable and family film.

DENMARK • 2006 • 109 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: NIELS ARDEN OPLEV