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Synopsis

Henrik Nina and fourteen-year-old Stine are an ordinary family. Henrik is a swimming instructor, Nina is a secretary. Their biggest problem is adolescent Stine, who has gradually become more and more difficult to be around.

At the school psychologist's request, the authorities remove Stine from her home; she has made a serious accusation against her father. Henrik is placed in custody, where he is confronted with the pain and social Stigma of being charged with a crime by his own daughter. Henrik and Nina stick together through the whole process, and he is acquitted.

Months go by before Stine and her parents are ready to meet to talk things over – without the presence of the authorities. It is finally time to be honest ...

Director's Statement

Imagine if you got picked up by the police one day ...

That was the basic idea behind ACCUSED. A story about what happens when ordinary people's lives change in a split second, and how they navigate in a new and foreign landscape.

With ACCUSED I primarily investigate the consequences that follow when a seemingly ordinary person gets arrested and is accused. The movie is consistently told from his point of view. In that way he experiences the same things that we see, but it is our task as viewers to look for the truth in his face. lt is both a fascinating and repulsive process to try to penetrate a person's mind; to discover whether or not the man is a moral or immoral individual.

The question of guilt was not as pressing. On the contrary, it was important to me not to defend or judge anyone. I consciously chose to be non-emotional. His secret is the basis for the film, not the premise. lt is also essential for the film not to reveal whether the man is or is not convicted at the end. lt has not been my objective to make a film that is amoral. The fundamental point is that if you're guilty, you'll get punished, and if you're innocent, you'll be acquitted.

When a story, like this one, takes place in a normal universe, it is an obvious choice to use a person's point of view to get a subjective experience. When working on the script it became more and more evident to Kim Fupz Aakeson and I that both the subjective point of view and the pauses would give the characters an extra dimension. We consciously chose to challenge time, make room for dreams and escape, in order to get closer to his repression, - a concept films are hopeless at conveying.

ACCUSED is fictional. This means that it plays on all the aspects that genre films utilize. Perhaps in order to avoid getting too consumed by the subject matter. But the film is still proper and accurate. It took a great deal of research to accurately reproduce normal procedures concerning arrests, imprisonment, court cases and swimming instruction. An authentic outer setting was important in order to tell the fictive story. Visually, the cinematographer, Sebastian Blenkov, and I decided to try to maintain a radical style. Stringent.

Director's Biography

Born in Denmark in 1962, Jacob Thuesen graduated in Editing from the National Film School of Denmark in 1991. He has edited or co-edited the documentaries HEART AND SOUL by Tómas Gislason (1994), HAITI. UNTITLED by Jørgen Leth (1996), MAXIMUM PENALTY by Tómas Gislason (2000), and the feature film and television series THE KINGDOM by Lars von Trier (1994). Jacob directed the short fiction LIFE INSURANCE (2003) and wrote and directed the award-winning feature-length documentary UNDER NEW YORK (1996). ACCUSED is his feature film debut.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Jacob Thuesen

Written by: Kim Fupz Aakeson

Produced by: Thomas Heinesen

Cinematography: Sebastian Blenkov

Editing: Per K. Kirkegaard

Production Design: Mia Stensgaard

Costume Design: Stine Gudmundsen-Holmgreen

Original Score: Nikolaj Egelund

Sound Design: Morten Green

Main Cast: Troels Lyby (Henrik), Sofie Gråbøl (Nina)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Discovery - Prix Fipresci 2005