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At World's End

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At World's End

(Ved verdens ende)
Sponsored by: Pepsi

North american Premiere

  • Denmark 2009
  • 100 min
  • 35mm
  • Danish with English subtitles
Hosted by director Tomas Villum Jensen


ComedyAction / Adventure

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Director: Tomas Villum Jensen
Screenplay: Anders Thomas Jensen
Cast: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Nicolas Bro, Steven Berkoff
Producers: Tivi Magnusson, Christian Potalivo, Johanne Stryhn Hørby, Daniel Baur, Cathy Overett, Oliver Simon
Print Source: Danish Film Institute



Deep in the jungle of Sumatra, a condescending British wildlife documentarian stumbles across a heretofore unknown breed of flower, ignores the pleas of locals not to touch it, and finds himself shot to pieces at the hands of a crazed Danish “tourist” named Severin Gertsen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Gertsen in turn finds himself in the hands of notably displeased Indonesian military police who announce that he is to be executed. This sparks a full-on international incident. Enter Adrian (ADAM’S APPLES’ Nikolaj Lie Kaas), on a mission for the Danish Foreign Ministry to evaluate Gertsen’s mental state and see if he can be declared of unsound mind in order to escape the noose. It might not be too difficult—Severin holds a passport that was issued in 1906 and claims to have been born in 1880. He attributes his youthful looks and endless lifespan to eating the leaves of the rare flower, which he’s named “Hedvig.” Adrian travels to Jakarta with fashionable secretary Beate (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) at his side. By the time his plane lands, the situation has gotten much worse. The brutal police have become convinced that Gertsen might actually be telling the truth and are ready to break as many skulls as required to get an introduction to Hedvig. Soon, everybody wants Hedvig and an awful lot of people are dying in the quest for prolonged life!
Only Denmark could give birth to this kind of a film—a side-splitting comedy/action blockbuster gone cleverly off the rails into terrain as loopy and unexpected as the unlikely plant at the center of its chaos! Regular Fantasians are no strangers to Danish black comedies like ADAM’S APPLES, IN CHINA THEY EAT DOGS, OLD MEN IN NEW CARS and THE GREEN BUTCHERS. These films have one thing in common—all were scripted and, in several cases, directed by the great Anders Thomas Jensen. Following years of penning more quiet, introspective works, AT WORLD’S END marks the return of Scandinavia’s master of black satire to the kind of comedy writing that made us fall in love with him. Jensen’s penchant for deadpan tragicomedy is everywhere here, as is his love for the absurd. And behind the lens? None other than acclaimed actor and occasional filmmaker Tomas Villum Jensen (no relation to Anders!), seen onscreen in virtually all the aforementioned Danish greats. Other highlights include stunning location photography and a whack of surprising supporting performances by everyone from Nicolas Bro to Steven Berkoff. Wow!

—Mitch Davis

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