Danish Peace War in Afghanistan

The Danish Oscar candidate, A War, is the celebrated new film by Tobias Lindholm, the director of the award-winning A Hijacking and writer of several episodes of the popular Danish TV serial Borgen. Screened in competition at Venice Film Festival, his second independent fiction film is an uncompromising study of an unsolved war crime, a follow-up on the director’s preoccupations. It drags us into the mind of Claus Pedersen, the commander of a peace unit in Afghanistan. Lindholm proved to be an expert in the anatomy of human psyche in extreme conditions. The commander is played by the popular Danish actor Pilou Asbaeki, known from Borgen and his role of Kasper, a former journalist and PR expert.

Claus Pedersen, essentially an honest and kind family man, during the Taliban raid in an Afghan village makes a decision about a bombing that will cause the death of 11 civilians. Soon he is transferred to Denmark and accused of war crime. The set changes from the deserted Afghan plains to Copenhagen and becomes a full-fledged court drama revolving around the key issue – did the Danish commander see enemy soldiers in the bombed house (which would justify and exonerate him) or not.