DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Wildland (Kød & Blod)

Orphaned teen is placed under the care of her dysfunctional aunt and criminal cousins, in this harrowing crime drama from Denmark - in cinemas Friday, August 13th

This isn’t quite the image that most people would have of a Danish family. There is abundant manipulation and violence. And scarce love and hygge. Quiet and shy Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) moves in with her aunt Bodil (Side Babett Knudsen) and three cousins after her addicted mother tragically passes away in a car crash. She encounters little comfort in this highly dysfunctional and unorthodox family. “Sometimes things go wrong even before they begin”, audiences are told, in a sentence that neatly sums up Ida’s predicament.

Bodil is boisterous and elegant, living with her sons Mads (Besir Zeciri) and David (Elliott Crosset Hove) in a pomp and spacious house. Mads mostly plays videogames and smokes dope. The highly aggressive David is in a troubled relationship with a young woman called Anne, whom he refuses to describe as his “girlfriend”. Her third son Jonas (Joachim Fjelpstrup) has a little baby and enjoys some vague semblance of a normal life, visiting his mother regularly. The three sons look extremely different, and it is a foregone conclusion that they all have different fathers. Bodil is highly manipulative, always prepared to leverage the weaknesses of her sons in her favour.

Ida’s strong facial features, with thick eyebrows and big pearly eyes, at at odds with her dispassionate and mostly laconic demeanour. She never expresses grief and fear. She is completely obedient. She does morally reprehends her family, even as they engage in criminal activities (Jonas is a loan shark, and his two brothers are his thugs). One day they force Ida to engage in their trade, which culminates in a murder and a police investigation where Ida ends up as the only suspect. Could this be a turning point? Will Ida remain silent in order to protect her unenviable family, or will she open up and “destroy” aunt Bodil’s precarious nuclear family?

All in all, this taut, tense and extremely bleak Scandinoir drama is highly moving. The performances are very convincing, the events entirely palpable. This is a family that could exist in any European country, yet the fact that they operate in “one of the happiest nations in the world” lends an extra layer of significance to the movie. Ida is experiencing living hell in an intended paradise. The film ending brings closure to the story and perpetuates the cycle the birth, death and abuse in one of the most visceral ways imaginable. Be prepared to scream!

Wildland is in cinemas on Friday, August 13th.

By Victor Fraga - 11-08-2021

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years of involvement in the cinema industry and beyond. He is an LGBT writer, and describes himself as a di...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Sexual diversity is at the very heart of [Read More...]
Films quotes are very powerful not just because [Read More...]

Read More

Toll (Pedágio)

Carolina Markowicz

Victor Fraga - 30-09-2023

Road toll worker slips into a life of crime in order to pay for her son's gay conversion therapy, in this spectacularly dirty Brazilian piece of absurd realism - from Latin Horizons section of the 71st San Sebastian International Film Festival [Read More...]

Great Absence

Kei Chika-Ura

Victor Fraga - 30-09-2023

A young man tries to make peace with the father who once abandoned him is now slowly succumbing to dementia - Japanese drama is in Competition at the 71st San Sebastian International Film Festival [Read More...]

Dance First

James Marsh

Victor Fraga - 30-09-2023

Gabriel Byrne stars as Irish writer Samuel Beckett, in this concise yet very conventional and contrived biopic of a literary genius - the Official Competition of the 71st San Sebastian International Film Festival [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *