De røde enge [Red Meadows] (1945)

De røde enge
Director: Bodil Ipsen, Lau Lauritzen
Writer: Leck Fischer
Based on: Ole Juul’s novel
Cast: Poul Reichhardt, Lisbeth Movin, Per Buckhøj, Gyrd Løfquist, Kjeld Jacobsen, Preben Kaas, Arne Hersholdt, Karl Jørgensen, Lau Lauritzen, Preben Neergaard, Bjørn Watt-Boolsen, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Freddy Koch
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 26.10.2019

Michael (Poul Reichhardt) is a Danish resistance fighter, doing everything in his power to stop the Nazis. But he finds himself captured by the Germans after his last attempt. As he thinks about that last mission – to blow up a weapons factory – he tries to figure out who must have betrayed him and his group so that he was captured.

Red Meadows is one great piece of propaganda for the Danish resistance that was, according to this film at least, the best resistance to ever resist. Since we can unfortunately still use a reminder to fight against Nazis, I didn’t mind that hyperbole one bit.

The film poster showing Michael (Poul Reichhardt) holding Ruth (Lisbeth Movin).

It’s a sad truth that we still have to deal with Nazis practically every day. It may not be quite as obvious anymore as it was, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are still very present. And the presence of Nazis means that we also need resistance against them and we need stories that celebrate said resistance. That’s definitely what Red Meadows does and I’m here for it. I mean, I generall like political films (when they’re on the right side of things at least), but it is especially necessary to hear about resistance, I think.

Red Meadows certainly tells its story in style, with an appropriate amount of drama and a very charismatic Reichhardt who is pretty much perfect for the role (caveat 1: the film should be more wary of personality cults) (caveat 2: of course, the film is about a male hero and his male friends, even though Ruth is also part of the resistance, but very reduced to her girlfriend status).

Michael (Poul Reichhardt) and Ruth (Lisbeth Movin) are stopped by German soldiers.

The film does have a couple of lenghts in the second third, I thought, despite the pathos it is filled with. Whether you can really get into it, will probably depend on how much you can stomach said pathos. But personally, I am convinced that Red Meadows is worth seeing and that you can take something away from it even for today.

Michael (Poul Reichhardt) being interrogated.

Summarizing: Really good.

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