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Erna at War

October 26, 2022—7:00 pm9:00 pm

“A compelling story of courage and maternal love” (Cineuropa) — See the moving Danish WWI drama Erna at War (dir. Henrik Ruben Genz, Denmark/Estonia/Belgium, 2020) at Scandinavia House!

In 1918, as World War I rages on and able-bodied Southern Jutlandic men under Prussian rule are conscripted into the German army, Erna Jensen (Trine Dyrholm) tends to her quiet life and her developmentally disabled son Kalle in the village of Bramstrup. But when Kalle is summoned for military service, Erna will do everything she can in order to protect her boy — dressing in a German uniform to sneak her way into the barracks, where she comes under the protection of an interested field sergeant. Soon, however, Erna and her regiment are sent off in stock cars for the trenches, where it isn’t only the enemy Erna must face, but her encounters with fellow soldiers. With Anton, the blacksmith from Jels (Anders W. Berthelsen), Erna is challenged on several fronts: as a self-sacrificing mother, as a soldier on an equal footing, and as a woman for good or ill. Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Erling Jepsen, Erna at War tells an unusual and fateful tale from a dramatic time in Danish history, of South Jutland patriotism, and of an indomitable woman’s motherly love and determined drive. (100 min. In Danish & German with English subtitles)

Special thanks to the Danish Film Institute.

About the Director

Director Henrik Ruben Genz, born in 1959, originally comes from Gram in Southern Jutland. In 1995 he completed his education at The National Film School of Denmark’s fiction directing program, and ever since has added a long list of feature films, tv-series, and documentaries to his filmography. In 1998 he was nominated for an Oscar and won the Crystal Bear in Berlin for his short film Theis & Nico. Henrik’s debut feature film was the Robert Award-nominated children’s film Someone Like Hodder (2003), an adaptation of Bjarne Reuter’s novel.

Significant projects that followed include the films Terribly Happy (2008), which earned the four Bodil Awards, seven Robert Awards and the Drejer Award of the Year; Chinaman (2005); Excuse Me (2012), Satisfaction 1720 (2016), Word of God (2017); and popular TV series such as “Nikolaj og Julie” (2002), “Forsvar” (2003), “Better Times” (2004), “The Killing” (2007), “Lulu & Leon” (2009), “Borgen” (2003), and “Bankerot” (2014).


This screening will take place in Victor Borge Hall; attendees are required to follow all Scandinavia House safety protocols, including wearing masks during the program and observing social distancing rules in signage. Please read our full safety protocols here. ASF is committed to providing an environment free from harassment or discrimination in the treatment of individuals and does not permit harassment or discrimination in any forms (whether racial, sexual, religious, orientation or others) within our building. Any visitors who do not abide by these policies will be required to leave. Read our our Non-Discrimination Policy here.


October 26, 2022
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm