Brotherhood (2009)

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The most homophobic groups are often the most homoerotic – nothing could prove this more than the National Socialist regime. In fact, Lars even mentions Ernst Röhm, Hitler’s right hand man and close friend who, despite the official party line, survived as an openly homosexual man until he became too powerful. Lars (Thure Lindhardt) was a former Danish service man until rumours of his sexuality led to his removal from the forces. Already extremist to some extent, Lars becomes involved in the local Neo Nazi group – at first he resists, claiming he isn’t a violent man. As he becomes more involved he quickly rises in the ranks and is given full membership. Jimmy, another Neo Nazi renovating the groups ‘holiday’ cottage, takes him in (albeit begrudgingly) and they bond until the sexual tension becomes too much and the pair accept their sexuality that the others violently oppose. At first, Jimmy tries to brush this off as a mistake but eventually finds himself coming back to Lars for more. Secluded in the woods, no one can find them – or so they think. As events spiral out of control the group reacts to the news the only way they know how – with violence.

While this film is emotionally charged, it, like many Scandinavian art forms, tackles the darker issues that flow in the icy undercurrent throughout Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Just like Wallander and The Bridge, these productions highlight the societal issues these countries face when it comes to migration and integration. It is, as a result, an interesting and unusual look at queer issues alongside the threat of right wing extremism. It is also a pleasure to see Thure Lindhardt performing in his native tongue – he later stars in Keep the Lights On. Much like Eytan Fox’s films and Sally El Hosaini’s My Brother the Devil, this tackles wider issues in society with a queer subtext.

This, unlike Keep the Lights On, is a film I can really recommend if you are looking for something different.

(I do not own this image)

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