After The Commune, Thomas Vinterberg boards the Kursk
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The Danish director is shooting an English-language thriller about the Russian submarine, which in 2000 sank in the Barents Sea with 118 sailors on board
After his depiction of Danish collective life in the 1970s, The Commune [+see also:
interview: Thomas Vinterberg
film profile], Danish director Thomas Vinterberg has returned to English-language filmmaking and started principal photography for the international thriller Kursk, with British actor Colin Firth (who won an Oscar for The King’s Speech [+see also:
interview: Tom Hooper
film profile]) and French actress Léa Seydoux (who received a Palme d’Or at Cannes for Blue Is the Warmest Colour [+see also:
interview: Abdellatif Kechiche
film profile]) in the leads.
Before The Commune, which earned Trine Dyrholm the Best Actress Award at the Berlinale, and Anne Østerud and Janus Billeskov Jansen the European Film Award for Best European Editors, Vinterberg, one of the original Danish Dogme directors (with 1998’s Festen), had helmed a new English-language adaptation of British author Thomas Hardy’s romantic 1874 drama Far from the Madding Crowd [+see also:
film profile] (2015).
Staged by French writer-director-producer Luc Besson’s Saint Denis-based EuropaCorp, with Belgium’s Belga Films and Luxembourg’s Via Est, Kursk will be filmed in Belgium, France and Norway from a script by Robert Rodat (Oscar-nominated for Saving Private Ryan), based on award-winning British journalist Robert Moore’s A Time to Die: The Untold Story of the Kursk Tragedy (2002).
On 12 August 2000, the Oscar II-class nuclear-powered cruise-missile submarine sank in the Barents Sea during a naval exercise, after the failed firing of a torpedo had caused a major explosion. For five days, Russian president Vladimir Putin refused any international help, but then UK and Norwegian experts were allowed to assist. Twenty-three crew members were not killed in the explosion, but died subsequently from oxygen deficiency.
The historical drama depicts the disaster, the government’s negligence, the sailors’ desperate fight for survival, and their families’ battle against political obstacles and impossible odds to save their lives. The multinational cast includes Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, Sweden’s Max von Sydow and Michael Nyqvist, and Danish actors Lars Brygmann, Aske Bang, Magnus Millang and Martin Greis.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.