Broderskab [Brotherhood] (2009)


Brotherhood is Nicolo Donato‘s first film, written by himself and Rasmus Birch, starring Thure Lindhardt, David Dencik and Nicolas Bro.

Lars (Thure Lindhardt) was just dismissed from the army because of rumors that he was gay. Now he doesn’t really know what to do with himself. By chance he stumbles into a group of neonazis. Their leader Fatty (Nicolas Bro) sees that Lars shows a lot of promise, so when Lars falls out with his parents, he pounces: He tells Lars he can stay with Jimmy (David Dencik) who is renovating a house for the group. But then Lars and Jimmy fall in love.

Brotherhood is a strong movie, particularly for a debut. There are some weaknesses in the plot but that is more than made up for by the differentiated approach to both Lars and Jimmy’s relationship with each other and even more so their relationship with the neonazi group.

It is not easy to have two main characters who are bigotted neonazis. Most people don’t react too positively to that. And while Lars might have a few more qualms than Jimmy, it’s far from him not being racist. He has no problem attacking a guy for being from Pakistan. It gets even more difficult, when you’re supposed to root for these people. But somehow, Donato makes it work.

He shows that the reason for joining such a group might be more difficult than just being an evil bastard. It’s apparent that at the start, Lars is very hesitant to join. But he’s drawn in by the comraderie, by the promise of friendship and because he just got the rug pulled out from under his feet and doesn’t know what to do. Of course this doesn’t excuse his behavior in any way but it does end up making him a more sympathetic and complex character.

None of this would have worked without the brilliant cast. Especially Thure Lindhardt and David Dencik were great, though Nicolas Bro was wonderfully creepy.

Movies about neonazis tend to get rather preachy. Donato manages to avoid that. Unfortunately his ending was a bit melodramatic, though. I didn’t like it, I thought it was a bit over the top. But since that usually comes with being a debut film, it’s forgiveable.

Summarising: Despite the klunky ending, definitely recommended watching.

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