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PRODUCTION Denmark

Danish WW2 resistance revived for new €3.2 million feature

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Danish WW2 resistance revived for new €3.2 million feature

The 1940-1945 Nazi occupation of Denmark during World War II is the setting for The Hvidsten Group, a new film depicting patriotic resistance in the Danish province, which Danish actor-writer-director Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis (photo) will shoot from late August, with Anders Refn as technical director. The cast is yet to be announced.

Scripted by Ib Kastrup, Jørgen Kastrup and Torvald Lervad, the €3.2 million feature will be staged by Regner Grasten Film with €0.9 million support from the Danish Film Institute, and €0.7 million backing from Danish commercial broadcaster, TV2. A regular collaborator with Lars von Trier, Refn will also edit the movie, which will be photographed by Morten Bruus.

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Owner of the Hvidsten Inn near Randers in Jutland, Marius Fiil, and his wife Gudrun, the cook, were known all over the country for their good food, less for their illegal activities: in March 1943 they joined the resistance with family and neighbours, to receive weapons and explosives dropped by the Royal Air Force for the fight against the Germans.

It lasted for a year. Then a captured British paratrooper agent, under torture, disclosed the identities of the Hvidsten Group, and most members were arrested by the Gestapo. On June 26, 1944, Fiil, his son and son-in-law, with five others, were sentenced to death; his two daughters were sent to prison, one for life. The executions gave rise to demonstrations against the Germans.

”We were ordinary people who wanted to live in peace with our neighbours, and if in the future young Germans cannot offer young Danes their hands in friendship, across the border, our deaths have no meaning,” Fiil told the German court before the verdict. The Hvidsten Group will be launched domestically on March 1, 2012.

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