Denmark, UK, Sweden, Norway


Michael (Ulrich Thomsen) has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife (Connie Nielsen) and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is a drifter, living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is missing in action - presumed dead - and Sarah is comforted by Jannik, who against all odds shows himself capable of taking responsibility for both himself and the family. It soon becomes clear that their feelings have developed beyond mutual sympathy. When Michael comes home, traumatized by being held prisoner in the mountains of Afghanistan, nothing is the same...

Director's Statement

In BROTHERS, international conflicts that we all know about from the papers suddenly and tangibly break into everyday life, causing change. I find it fascinating how the everyday is all of a sudden changed by more or less random events, and how we relate to such violent changes.
Portraying the Danish military presence in Afghanistan gives the film a political aspect, but it’s mainly a love story about the conditions of love in our contemporary life style. The story is about the emotions linked to these events and for me, film is about describing emotions and showing feelings.
I like to get under the skin of my characters, which is why both the serious and the funny side of life are central in my films. It was important for me that the brutality in BROTHERS stood in contrast to human warmth, tenderness and intimacy. Both sides exist, and I couldn’t have described the one without the other, I wouldn’t want to. My goal is to acknowledge reality and find hope there, because no matter how brutal that reality is, humour is still an undeniable part of life and what keeps us warm.

Director's Biography

Susanne Bier studied at the Bezalet Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem and Architecture in London, before accumulating a Film Direction Degree at the National Film School in Copenhagen, Denmark, from which she graduated in 1987. Susanne Bier's graduation film, DE SALIGES Ø won the First Prize at the Munich Film School Festival, and picked up for distribution by British Channel Four.
Bier later went on to direct the Award-winning features: FREUD LEAVING HOME (1990), FAMILY MATTERS (1993), LIKE IT NEVER WAS BEFORE (1995), CREDO (1997) and THE ONE AND ONLY (1999), which won a shower of Danish Film Awards, and was a huge success with the Danish movie goers, ONCE IN A LIFETIME, starring Swedish Helena Bergström, was released in December 2000. The critically acclaimed OPEN HEARTS (2002) became a box office hit domestically, and has participated in numerous film festivals. Susanne Bier's latest feature, BROTHERS starring Connie Nielsen, Ulrich Thomsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas which opened in Denmark in September 2004, gained immediate success and international recognition winning numerous awards at prestigious festivals such as: Sundance International Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival and FilmFest Hamburg
Susanne Bier is currently in post-production with her upcoming feature film AFTER THE WEDDING, to be released in February 2006.
Besides directing feature films, Susanne Bier's body of work also includes short films, music videos and commercials.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Susanne Bier

Written by: Anders Thomas Jensen

Produced by: Sisse Graum-Jørgensen, Peter Aalbæk Jensen

Cinematography: Morten Søborg

Editing: Pernille Bech Christensen

Production Design: Viggo Bentzon

Costume Design: Signe Sejlund

Make-Up & Hair: Anne-Cathrine Sauerberg

Original Score: Johan Söderqvist

Sound Design: Per Streit

Cast: Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Jannik), Bent Mejding (Henning), Connie Nielsen (Sarah), Ulrich Thomsen (Michael)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Film 2005
  • European Director 2005
  • European Actress 2005
  • European Actor 2005
  • European Screenwriter 2005
  • European Composer 2005
  • Feature Film Selection 2005