Körber, Lill-Ann. ‘Gold Coast (2015) and Danish Economies of Colonial Guilt’. Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, vol. 10, no. 2, Routledge, Apr. 2018.
The article discusses Daniel Dencik’s feature film Gold Coast (2015), about the last phase of Danish colonialism in today’s Ghana, as an example for recent representations of Danish colonial history. Combining historian of ideas Astrid Nonbo Andersen’s exploration of Danish narratives of “innocent colonialism”, Gloria Wekker’s concept of “White Innocence”, and film historian Thomas Elsaesser’s model of “guilt economies” as a feature of the legacy of perpetrator nations (2014), the article provides a framework within which to examine figurations of colonial guilt and innocence in Gold Coast. The main argument is that the film’s treatment of colonial guilt primarily takes the form of maintenance of innocence. It thereby contradicts the challenges currently being pitted elsewhere against the narrative of innocent colonialism.
Jørholt, Eva. ‘En Fremmed Kommer Til Byen: MGP Missionens Bud På Inter-Etnisk Nytænkning i Dansk Film’. Kosmorama, no. 251, 2013,
Det trak store overskrifter og pustede nyt liv i racismedebatten, da det kom frem, at Det Danske Filminstitut i oktober 2011 havde givet afslag på en ansøgning om produktionsstøtte til børnefilmen MGP Missionen. Filmen udmærker sig ved at være den første decideret kommercielt anlagte danske film med etniske minoriteter i bærende roller. Men derudover bidrager filmen til en dekonstruktion af den forskelstænkning, som er så altdominerende i den offentlige debat om indvandrere her til lands.
Fuld tekst: https://www.kosmorama.org/kosmorama/artikler/en-fremmed-kommer-til-byen-mgp-missionens-bud-pa-inter-etnisk-nytaenkning-i.
Moffat, Kate. ‘Race, Ethnicity, and Gang Violence: Exploring Multicultural Tensions in Contemporary Danish Cinema’. Scandinavian Canadian Studies, vol. 25, Oct. 2018, pp. 136–153.
One of the most striking genre conventions to emerge in Danish cinema in recent years is the gangster motif. Replete with gritty social realism, urban decay, and tribal warfare between different ethnic groups, these films reflect a growing discontent in the Danish welfare state, particularly regarding multiculturalism and inclusion. This article follows these trends from the mid-1990s, focusing specifically on the themes of ethnic division in four films: Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher (1996), Michael Noer’s Nordvest (2013) [Northwest], Omar Shargawi’s Gå med fred, Jamil (2008) [Go With Peace, Jamil], and Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm’s R (2010) [R: Hit First, Hit Hardest]. The article explores racial division in these films by examining how they reflect or subvert cultural and political approaches towards diversity in Denmark over the last two decades.
Myong, Lene, and Michael Nebeling Petersen. ‘(U)levelige slægtskaber. En analyse af filmen “Rosa Morena”’. K&K – Kultur og Klasse, vol. 40, no. 113, 113, June 2012, pp. 119–132. tidsskrift.dk,
The Danish movie Rosa Morena (2010) tells an unusual story about kinship in which a white homosexual Danish man adopts a child born to a poor black Brazilian woman. Using a theoretical framework of biopolitics and affective labour the article highlights how the male homosexual figure is cast as heteronormative and white in order to gain cultural intelligibility as a parent and thus to become the bearer of a liveable kinship. The casting rests on the affective and reproductive labour of the Brazilian birth mother who is portrayed as an unsuited parent through a colonial discourse steeped in sexualized and racialized imagery. A specific distribution of affect, where anger turns into gratefulness fixates and relegates the birth mother to a state of living dead, and thus she becomes the bearer of an unliveable kinship. This economy of life and death constructs transnational adoption as a vital event in a Foucauldian sense. The adoption, simultaneously, folds a white male homosexual population into life and targets a racialized and poor population as always already dead.
Nebeling Petersen, Michael, and Lene Myong. ‘(Un)Liveabilities: Homonationalism and Transnational Adoption’. Sexualities, vol. 18, no. 3, SAGE Publications Ltd, Mar. 2015, pp. 329–345.
Rosa Morena tells a story about kinship in which a white homosexual Danish man adopts a child born to a black poor Brazilian woman. Using a theoretical framework of biopolitics and affective labour the article highlights how the male homosexual figure is being cast as heteronormative and white in order to become intelligible as a parent and the bearer of liveable kinship. The casting rests on the affective and reproductive labour of the birth mother who is portrayed as an unsuitable parent through a colonial discourse steeped in sexualized and racialized imagery. A specific distribution of affect fixates and relegates the birth mother to a state of living dead, and thus she becomes the bearer of an unliveable kinship.
Nørrested, Carl. ‘Blandt Eskimoer, Eventyrer Og Etnografer – Filmdokumentarisme Om Grønland’. Kosmorama, no. 232, 2003, pp. 68–98,
Skadegård Thorsen, T. ‘Gendered Representation in Danish Film’. Women in the International Film Industry: Policy, Practice and Power, Ed. Susan Liddy, Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2020, 111–130.
Film studies in Denmark often center on either production studies or content analyses. Most frequently examinations of gender in film fall into the latter category. As such, most analyses of gender in Danish film emphasize what happens on screen. In the Danish film industry, however, gender representation has increasingly become a question linked to equity and equality both behind the cameras and on film. This has been propelled, in particular, by the Danish Film Institute’s (DFI) diversity initiatives, of which a special gender effort was launched in 2015.This article analyzes the premises, presumptions, and potential risks associated with the Danish approaches to gender inequality in Danish film. The article shows that approaching gender equality through what Crenshaw would call ‘single axis analysis’ severely limits the problem-solving capabilities of diversity initiatives such as those launched by the DFI.While gender equality in the Danish film industry has arguably been both understudied, less negotiated, and less governed than is the case in neighboring nations, Denmark has a prevalent national narrative driven by a gender-progressive self-image. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, Danish female directors and creatives have enjoyed immense international success, and female-driven narratives have been central to the recent export success of many Nordic Noir series. Nonetheless, this article takes a closer look at how the Danish film industry is handling questions of gender equality in film.
Skadegård Thorsen, T., and M. C. Skadegård. ‘Monstrous (M)Others—From Paranoid to Reparative Readings of Othering Through Ascriptions of Monstrosity’. Nordlit, no. 42, Nov. 2019.
The Danish film A Horrible Woman (orig. En frygtelig kvinde, 2017) marked a pattern that can be identified throughout several decades of Danish filmmaking. Examples are found in contemporary films like Antichrist (2009), as well as in earlier Danish films like The Abyss (1910) and Red Horses (1950). In these and other examples, women characters exhibit monstrous behavior that can be construed as a form of othering. Furthermore, othering women and mothers by presenting them as terrible, abnormal, or monstrous in Danish (popular) culture goes well beyond the silver screen. In this article, ‘mother–daughter scholars’ M. C. Skadegård and T. Skadegård Thorsen explore how monstrosity functions as a tool for othering in film and other media, offering both a (generational) and historical view, and a discussion of current constructions of monstrosity, on and off screen, in Denmark. The article argues that monstrosity, as a symbol of power and violence, becomes a particularly oppressive gendered gesture. The authors examine this in a correspondence with one another. In letter form, with shifting analytical positions between mother and daughter, a dialogue emerges between generations on questions of ‘(m)otherhood’ in Danish film and other Danish contexts, transitions of female film characters from passive to aggressive, and the role of monstrosity in othering non-white immigrant ‘(m)others’ in public discourse. Finally, the article argues for a different approach to ‘monstrous othering’. Through a reparative reading, it discusses whether there is empowerment and agency connected to being ascribed monstrosity.
Moffat, Katie Louise. Crisis Politics in Contemporary Nordic Film Culture: Representing Race and Ethnicity in a Transforming Europe. PhD Dissertation. University of Stirling, Nov. 2018,
Identity politics in the Nordic region, that is, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway, is in crisis. While these five small nations have garnered a reputation for their perceived exceptionalism, liberal progressiveness and strong welfare-orientated agendas, over the last thirty years, immigration into the Nordic region has increased significantly, and the political and cultural debates over ethnicity and belonging have become more intensely polarised. However, the film cultures of these five small nations have responded to these developments in complex and multifaceted ways giving rise to a broad calibre of film texts that both challenge and reinforce dominant perceptions of national identity.
This thesis attempts to provide some insight into how wider political and ideological shifts have influenced onscreen representations of ethnicity and race over the last three decades. It does so by exploring a range of genres including comedy, social realism, art-house and documentary cinema using close textual and thematic analysis to unearth a region wrestling with the influences of globalisation. The thesis also situates this analysis in relation to film policies relevant to each respective national Nordic film institute, all of whom play an essential role in dictating the direction of Nordic film and media culture.
Consequently, this research shows that representations of ethnic identity are shaped by ethnocentric perceptions of Nordic whiteness where ‘ethnic Nordic’ characters typically turn the experiences and perspectives of ethnic minorities into their own. However, it also demonstrates how a diversification of production channels, media policy directives and an emerging generation of filmmakers are challenging fixed perceptions of ethnic and racial identities and their relationships with conventional notions of ‘Nordicness.’ These contributions enhance the current scholarship on Nordic film culture by foregrounding the politics of race and ethnicity and further developing the theoretical argument for locating Nordic cinema in the global, transnational context.
Vitus, Kathrine. ‘Racial Embodiment and the Affectivity of Racism in Young People’s Film’. Palgrave Communications, vol. 1, no. 1, 1, Palgrave, Apr. 2015, pp. 1–9.
. This article uses a bodily and affective perspective to explore racial minority young people’s experiences of racism, as enacted (on film) through disgust and enjoyment. Applying Žižek’s ideology critical psychoanalytical perspective and Kristeva’s concept of “abjection”, the article considers race embodied, that is the racial body both partly Real (in the Lacanian sense) and a mean for the projection of ideological meanings and discursive structures, which are sustained by specific fantasies. From this perspective, the film’s affective racism is “symptomatic” of the discrepancies between, on the one hand, Danish social democratic welfare state ideology and a dominating race discourse of “equality-as-sameness”, on the other, the Real of racial embodiment, which makes the encounter with the Other traumatic and obscene. The analysis exposes the bodily and affective underside of race relations (which lead attempts to discursively undo racism to fail) and instead seeks to undermine the fantasies that sustain racial power relations.
Vitus, Kathrine. ‘“When i Rap, i Feel More like Myself”: Equality and Enjoyment in Young Women’s Rapper Dreams’. Subjectivity, vol. 9, no. 1, Apr. 2016, pp. 59–82.
This article analyzes the relationship between subjectivity and ideology in a short film, Rapper Girl, produced by young women living in multiethnic Copenhagen, and develops the concept of the ‘RapX fantasy’. Through Jacques Rancière’s and Slavoj Žižek’s theoretical lenses, the article explores how the RapX fantasy produces subjectivity not only through young people’s political identity claims for ethnic, racial and gender equality, but also by offering a ‘solution’ to – by healing and concealing – the lack of equality in Western post-politics societies. In addition, the article shows how subjectivity within and in opposition to ideological hegemony in the film is driven by affects such as enjoyment and shame. The article argues that the RapX fantasy not only de-politicizes young people’s political struggle for equality across intersecting identity hierarchies, but also, through the commodification of ethnic otherness, (re)produces enjoyment in embodying a symptom of the lack of national social cohesion.
Bondebjerg, Ib, and Ulla Bondebjerg. Dansk film og kulturel globalisering. 1. udgave, Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur, 2017.
Om hvordan globaliseringen og den mere multikulturelle sammensætning af det danske samfund siden 1970’erne har påvirket dansk film – både spillefilm, kortfilm og dokumentarfilm.