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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Denmark / Netherlands

Christian Tafdrup’s psychological horror Speak No Evil ready for Sundance

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- The Danish writer-director’s new feature, staged by Profile Pictures, centres on two families – one Danish, one Dutch – who meet while on holiday in Tuscany

Christian Tafdrup’s psychological horror Speak No Evil ready for Sundance
Sidsel Siem Koch in Speak No Evil (© Erik Molberg Hansen)

After working on his 2017 feature A Horrible Woman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Christian Tafdrup is ready to world-premiere his new effort, a psychological horror entitled Speak No Evil [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Tafdrup
film profile
]
, in the Midnight Series strand of the Sundance Film Festival (20-30 January 2022 – see the news).

The film follows two families – one Danish, one Dutch – who meet while on holiday in Tuscany. When the free-spirited Dutch family extends an invitation to the more conservative Danish one for a holiday weekend at their countryside home, the lure of a fun, quick getaway is too delightful to resist. But the Dutch hospitality quickly turns sour for the Danes as they find themselves increasingly caught in a web of their own politeness in the face of eccentric (or is it sinister?) behaviour.

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Written by Tafdrup with his brother Mads Tafdrup (A Horrible Woman), Speak No Evil will star Morten Burian and Sidsel Siem Koch as the Danish couple, Bjørn and Louise, as well as Fedja van Huêt and Karina Smulders as the Dutch couple, Patrick and Karin.

Commenting on the Sundance selection, Tafdrup said: “Being part of the Sundance Midnight legacy is a huge honour for me. I am looking forward to packing my bag and hopefully once again making a splash with a Danish film at the coolest festival in the world.” Sundance programmers described the movie as “a brilliantly provocative and simmering satirical work of horror, indicting the two sides as he sets up his characters for an unnerving descent into darkness”, wherein Tafdrup suggests that “the greatest cruelty lies in the nonsensical facades we contrive for ourselves”.

The feature is Tafdrup’s first genre film, and was presented as part of Works-in-Progress at the Göteborg Nordic Film Market earlier this year. The movie, which is being sold internationally by TrustNordisk, has already secured several sales agreements with a wide range of territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Hungary. It will hit Danish cinemas in March 2022.

Speak No Evil was produced by Jacob Jarek (Rams [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Grimur Hakonarson
film profile
]
, Shelley [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, In the Blood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elliott Crosset Hove
interview: Rasmus Heisterberg
film profile
]
) for Denmark’s Profile Pictures, in co-production with Dutch outfit Oak Motion Pictures. It received support from the Danish Film Institute, FilmFyn and the Netherlands Film Production Incentive, as well as co-financing from DR and Nordisk Film Distribution.

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