beautiful country mansion, lavish interiors and a party of
well-to-do guests gathered around an elegantly-laid
dinner table. It’s the perfect setting to celebrate
the 60th birthday of prosperous patriarch Helge
the ordered social ritual of eating and speech making is
shattered by the intimate revelations of prodigal son Christian, who has returned to
Denmark from Paris to attend the family reunion.
black comedy of manners has a raw edge derived from the Dogme
style of film making, which insists on 35mm format hand-held
cameras, shooting only with available natural light, no added
music or sound, no props, no make-up and no costumes.
The Dogme manifesto was drawn up in 1995 by a collective of Danish
directors, including Vinterberg and Lars von Trier (Breaking
the Waves), as a reaction against the conventional heavy-handed
‘literary’ genre of Danish cinematic conventions.
“Dogme is about escaping mediocrity, renewal, challenge and
integrity to the characters and settings,” explains the
result is a disorientating and immediate naturalism which
catapults you into an emotionally excruciating drama, in which
the reactions of the guests are as compelling as the story which unfolds.
again, it goes to prove that
low-budget movies - Festen cost only £609,000 - can be
- Director London Food Film Fiesta