Kollektivet

Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands 2016

Synopsis

Erik and Anna are an academic couple with a dream. Together with their daughter Freja, they set up a commune in Erik’s huge villa in the upmarket district of Copenhagen. With the family in the center of the story, we are invited into the dream of a real commune; we participate in the house meetings, dinners and parties. It is friendship, love and togetherness under one roof until an earth-shattering love affair puts the community and the commune to its greatest test yet.

THE COMMUNE is a humorous, delicate but also a painful and touching portrait of an entire generation. The film turns into a gentle yet confrontational declaration of love for a generation of idealists and dreamers who have long since awakened to reality.

Directors Statement

From the age of 7 to 19 I lived in a commune. It was a crazy, warm and fantastic time, surrounded by genitals, beer, high level academic discussions, love and personal tragedies. As a child, every day was a fairy tale. Simply leaving the privacy of your own bedroom and finding your way into the common areas of the house could offer a variety of surprising sceneries because of the other residents and their various eccentricities.

Looking back, it is a time filled with golden memories and absurd moments. The house would become dark as Hell for at least 5 days every month due to the biological cycles of the already powerful and ruling women of the house, cycles that somehow became synchronised over time.

The group suppers that took place every Thursday to Sunday usually evolved into overwhelming and sometimes catastrophic dinner parties. The notion of the ‘house meeting’ was the supreme authority – a democratic meeting where house members would share from the heart and discuss any issues they cared to. I recall a house meeting where it was decided that rent would be paid in proportion to each commune member’s income. This notion was gladly proposed by a man who earned far more than anyone else, and as a result his rent was more than doubled. Even though the commune consisted of well-educated thinkers, life back then now seems naive and idealistic in the extreme – it was full of hope for the future ...

The core of the story takes place in the commune around 1975. The original and humorous individuals of the commune offer up the ‘choir’ in the traditional way of drama – or a huge and warm family that we will hopefully learn to love. However, a more intimate love story will play out within this eccentric ‘family’. This love story will bring to an end the collective dream of the commune and a lifelong relationship. As such, the end of togetherness is played out in more ways than one.

Biography

Award-winning film director Thomas Vinterberg (born in 1969) graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 1993. His graduation film, LAST ROUND, became an early example of his unique talent and stature. The film won numerous awards and was nominated for a Student Academy Award (also referred to as a Baby Oscar). Next, Vinterberg directed another award-winner THE BOY WHO WALKED BACKWARDS (1995), which – among others – won at the festival in Clermont-Ferrand and a Danish Robert award for Best Short Film.
Vinterberg directed his debut feature film, THE BIGGEST HEROES, in 1996. It won three Robert awards. The year before, he and Lars von Trier had drafted the Dogme 95 manifesto. Vinterberg’s major breakthrough came in 1998 with THE CELEBRATION – the first Dogme 95 film ever. The film received numerous international awards, including the Jury Prize in Cannes, the Fassbinder Award at the European Film Awards and the award for Best Foreign Language Film from both the Los Angeles and New York film critics. In addition, THE CELEBRATION won no less than seven Robert awards and three Bodil statuettes. In 2008 Vinterberg received a European Film Award for European Achievement in World Cinema along with his Dogme 95 brothers Lars von Trier, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen and Kristian Levring.
Thomas Vinterberg has directed three English-language films: IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE (2003) starring Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes and Sean Penn, DEAR WENDY (2005), written by Lars von Trier and starring Jamie Bell, and most recently the Thomas Hardy adaptation FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (2015) starring Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts.
He returned to Danish cinema with the comedy A MAN COMES HOME (2007), followed by the drama SUBMARINO (2010), which premiered in the main competition at the Berlin IFF in 2010. The film was awarded the Nordic Council Film Prize that same year. It received no less than 15 Robert nominations and won five.
THE HUNT (2012) was nominated for both an Oscar® and a Golden Globe® for Best Foreign Language Film and won a British Independent Film Award for Best International Independent Film as well as Best Screenplay at the European Film Awards. The lead in “The Hunt”, Mads Mikkelsen, received the prestigious award for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
In addition, Vinterberg has written and directed critically acclaimed theatre productions at the Burgtheater in Vienna. He has also directed music videos for Blur and Metallica.

Filmography:
2016 - THE COMMUNE
2015 - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
2012 - THE HUNT
2010 - SUBMARINO
2007 - A MAN COMES HOME
2004 - DEAR WENDY
2003 - IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE
1998 - THE CELEBRATION
1996 - THE BIGGEST HEROES
1995 - THE BOY WHO WALKED BACKWARDS, short
1993 - LAST ROUND, short
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Thomas Vinterberg

Written by : Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm

Produced by : Sisse Graum-Jørgensen, Morten Kaufmann

Director of Photography : Jesper Tøffner

Editor : Anne Østerud & Janus Billeskov Jansen

Production Design : Niels Sejer

Costume Design : Ellen Lens

Hair & Make up Artist : Dennis Knudsen, Marly van de Wardt

Composer : Fons Merkies

Sound Design : Anne Jensen, Kristian Selin Eidnes Andersen

Main Cast : Martha Sofie Wallstrøm-Hansen (Freja), Trine Dyrholm (Anna), Ulrich Thomsen (Erik), Helene Reingaard-Neumann (Emma)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Editor 2016
  • European Actress 2016
  • People's Choice Award 2017
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2016