A new film, “Another Round”, directed by Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, explores the highs and lows of the Dane’s love of alcohol and ended up in 2019 at the center of his greatest tragedy, losing his daughter. “Another Round” tells the story of four middle-aged friends who have lost their appetite for life and decide to experiment living with a constant level of alcohol in their blood. Learn more about this Danish film about surviving drinking.
Vinterberg’s life took a harrowing turn when his daughter died in a car accident in 2019, but as a filmmaker, he knew he had to go on. “Another Round” may be about drinking, but its vision of alcohol, although nuanced, is largely jubilant.
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“It’s not just a film about drinking. Our ambition was to make a film about living,” said Vinterberg at the Lumière Film Festival, adding how the everyday life of an average Dane is dictated by his cellphone, counting his steps, his heart rate, his schedule. “It’s about having lost inspiration, risk, curiosity, exploration.”
In Denmark, where movie theaters in spite of the corona close-down have been open since June 2020, the film has been a resounding success, selling over half a million tickets (in a country of 5.8 million people) in its first month. Part of this popularity is no doubt thanks to the quality of the performances, led by Mads Mikkelsen, and the script, which Vinterberg co-wrote with Tobias Lindholm. But its depiction of the Danish relationship to alcohol has also clearly resonated.
The movie stands out as Vinterberg’s gentlest work, and offers a warm and poignant window into resilience in hard times. It seems like it has been important for the Danish director, who grew up in what he describes as a “hippie commune,” to express the sense of togetherness.
“I guess when you jump off a cliff and you don’t know if there’s water beneath and you do it hand in hand, it’s the ultimate sense of solidarity,” says Vinterberg.
The film premiered at a time when, thanks to coronavirus and a resurgent #MeToo movement, Denmark’s alcohol habits were under new scrutiny. In a culture that perceives itself as reserved — even shy — and which has little tradition of small talk, drinking is an especially important fuel for social connection. That might help explain why Danes have the highest rates of “heavy, episodic” drinking of any country in the European Union.
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Some of the more playful sequences in the movie find the men joshing around as they gradually become more intoxicated. However, despite the underlying sadness driving these scenes, they maintain a playful quality.
Danish Film About Surviving Drinking, written by Tor Kjolberg