A Matter Of Trust

****1/2

Reviewed by: Anne-Katrin Titze

A Matter Of Trust
"Besides the always outstanding Trine Dyrholm, Sofie Juul Blinkenberg is the revelation of this film because her scenes dip the screen into a clear virescent pool of elemental longing for unspoiled credence." | Photo: Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Annette K Olesen’s A Matter Of Trust (Ingen Kender Dagen), co-written with Maren Louise Käehne, based on the stories by Carsten Jensen, Niels Henning Krag Jensby, Kamilla Hega Holst, Martin Kongstad, and Caroline Albertine Minor, and edited by Dennis Göl Bertelsen was a highlight of the 21st edition of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Trine Dyrholm (Charlotte Sieling’s Margrete: Queen Of The North, Susanna Nicchiarelli’s Nico, 1988) heads a remarkable ensemble cast that includes Emil Aron Dolph, Anders Brink Madsen, Ellen Rovsing Krudson, Morten Hee Andersen, Jakob Cedergren, Ellaha Lack, Rey Yousefi, Lisbet Dahl, Ene Øster Bendtsen, and Sofie Juul Blinkenberg.

The five short stories, written independently by the five Danish authors, with some obstructions in place, intertwine into a fascinating snapshot of the state of trust in the state of Denmark. The actions all take place during one day in the near present.

Each storyline stands on its own, but only together do they unfold their stimulating power. The drastically different tone and mood of the various strands saturate the movie with a sense of life where each of us saunters along on a separate journey through the day. It is precisely the lack of a cinematic contrivance to overlap the stories, that makes the result magical.

The first strand, starring Trine Dyrholm as Eva, a doctor on a professional return day trip to Kabul, holds up a cultural mirror to the other stories. It is about the Hippocratic oath, unalloyed devastation, and what can never become routine.

A blond student named Emil (Emil Aron Dolph) walks to school. A victim of online bullying, his day progresses in unexpected ways. A little girl named Laura (Ellen Rovsing Knudsen) gambols on the beach with her mother Frederikke (Kristine Krogh). The child has a black eye and when mom indicates how much she missed her and describes the nature of sea foam, something doesn’t add up. Foreboding as Hans Christian Andersen’s mermaid curse and yet tautly anchored in a quotidian hyper drabness, spectators are nudged to balance preconceived hypotheses with what is actually expressed on the screen.

Adam (Jakob Cedergren) stops his car at an unoccupied farm stand at the side of a country road. A not uncommon occurrence in Denmark and other parts of Europe, the farmers trust that you will choose their gladioli, berries, carrots, whatever is in season, and leave the money for it in a small receptacle attached to the stand for this exact purpose. Adam inspects and then gathers a bunch of leeks and some potatoes, but does not seem to have enough cash on him to pay for it all. He takes the produce and drives off, only to return a moment later to put some guiltily back. An impeccable way to wordlessly introduce the conflicted ridiculous man we will soon get to know.

Henrik (Anders Brink Madsen) is Emil’s teacher. When he happens upon him after class and invites the boy to drive with him to a farm to buy chickens, nothing about this day will fit into the ordinary. Meanwhile on the plane, Eva is responsible for the care of Ihram (Rey Yousefi), who is being repatriated because she turned 18, to Afghanistan, a country she hadn’t lived in since the age of ten.

Adam arrives at the house with indoor pool, which he rented to have an affair. He attempts to impress the woman Viyan (Ellaha Lack), with oysters and progressively silly talk of wine, while the owner of the place, Hanne (Lisbet Dahl), becomes more and more suspicious about the clandestine goings-on in her property.

The couple Simon (Morten Hee Andersen) and Maja (Sofie Juul Blinkenberg), who is very pregnant, go to the funeral of an old friend of Simon’s whom Maja had never met. People react strangely and Maja will have a decision to make. In the forest, right where our good friend HC Andersen used to roam, she comes across a - no you guessed wrong - a food stand.

Always hungry but without money on her, another trust exercise unfolds to prepare Maja for the big test of knowing and knowing too much. Besides the always outstanding Trine Dyrholm, Sofie Juul Blinkenberg is the revelation of this film because her scenes dip the screen into a clear virescent pool of elemental longing for unspoiled credence.

Trust is something to pay attention to. The erosion of it, because of the way the world is going, will be everyone’s downfall.

Reviewed on: 20 Jul 2022
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Five stories on interpersonal trust and unspoken truths intertwine.

Festivals:

Tribeca 2022

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