Black comedy and European identity
As winter leaves its first chilly fingerprints on London, BFI Southbank offers a great opportunity to crawl into the comfy cinema chairs, as they roll out a three-part season that explores how Europe arrived at its present state to stimulate reflection on its future. The versatile program of international films marks the 20th anniversary of the Fall of The Berlin Wall which in many ways has shaped today’s Europe.
For those who fancy a thrill in the dark of the Danish film Pusher 3 from 2005 is a must-see. It is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (b. 1970) who gained high respect in film circles for the uncompromising ‘Pusher’ in 1996.
The film became a cult phenomenon and won the director instant international critical acclaim. Furthermore it paved the way for the Pusher Trilogy which consists of three intricate, gripping and explosive crime films about the Copenhagen-based Serbian drugs kingpin, Milo.
Pusher 3 is the last chapter of the trilogy. In this final picture Milo is forced to get his own hands dirty for the first time, as a younger and more vicious gang rolls into town. Within 24 hours he must simultaneously dispose of corpses and plan his daughter’s 25-year birthday celebrations. With a fair amount of black comedy and gut-wrenching scenes the film emphasizes the bleak nature of Milo’s criminal existence and the soulless rewards he gains from it.
Pusher 3 is screened in the second part of the BFI winter season. The season falls in three parts that invites the audience to follow Europe on its journey from the devastating Second World War towards a new Europe.
The first part The Writing on the Wall was presented in October and depicted Berlin that has fascinated many leading film-makers throughout the years. Part two is entitled Europe Since 1989 and will be running in November. This program reveals the dreams and calamities that followed the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and helped to create the complex Europe of today. In December the season is wrapped up with the theme Europe Imagined. This final month the season shifts into the realm of imagination by focusing on how film-makers worldwide has depicted Europe as a symbol, a metaphor and a fantastic Other.
European Identity on Film
October – December 2009
Danish Embassy/ Expatica