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DVD Review

DVD cover

Flame & Citron


Starring: Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 29 June 2009

Copenhagen 1944. As World War II approaches its dying days, two hit men for the Danish freedom fighters codenamed ‘Flame’ and ‘Citron’ secretly put their lives on the line to fight the Nazis. The fearless and uncompromising Flame is a confirmed anti-fascist and dreams of the day when the group will assemble and openly launch an armed counterattack at the occupying power. The more sensitive family man, Citron, used to work primarily as a driver for Flame, but now finds himself becoming more deeply involved in the group’s work...

Flame & Citron (Flammen & Citronen) is a 2008 Danish movie that takes a look at the legendary resistance fighters Bent Faurschou-Hviid (Flame) and Jørgen Haagen Schmith (Citron). The movie stars Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen as Flame and Citron respectively.

The movie examines how everything in war is not black and white - there are only shades of grey. And as we get to know our heroes throughout the movie we also learn what it was that prompted them to join the resistance. There's also a number of interesting twists, one of which sees our heroes suddenly unsure whether their cause is just.

When their immediate superior, Aksel Winther, orders them into action against two German officers, events suddenly spiral out of control. In the fall out doubts about their leadership begin to surface, and the pair come to feel that they are on shaky moral ground. Desperate, disillusioned and with a sense of having been betrayed, they decide only to trust each other and embark on one final mission - to assassinate the much feared and hated chief of the Gestapo, Hoffmann.

The movie is allegedly based on real events and eyewitness accounts from some of the people who came into contact with Flame and Citron.

Extras include interviews with Mads Mikkelsen (11 min, 50 sec); Thure Lindhardt (13 min, 17 sec); Ole Christian Madsen (22 min, 42 sec); the text based A Nation Under Occupation; and the theatrical trailer. To be honest the extras are nothing that great. The interviews are purely puff for the movie - no interesting questions are really asked outside of the standard soft questions you'd expect from promo interviews.

One of the things that annoyed me about this DVD was the fact that there are a number of trailers at the start of the disc that you have to sit through in order to get to the main menu. You can't hit the main/root menu buttons either as this function has been disabled. This form of forced advertising is something I'd expect on a rental disc, but not on one I'd paid good money to watch.

Taking the film on its own merits, it's a beautifully shot and well directed and acted tale. Just don't expect any laughs.


Nick Smithson

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