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Flame and Citron (Flammen og Citronen)

Director(s): Ole Christian Madsen

Theatrical Release: 2008

Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thure Lindhardt, Stine Stengade, Peter Mogge Mygind, Mille Hoffmeyer Lehfeldt, Lars Mikkelsen

Genre(s): Drama, Thriller, war, Nazi

Countries: Denmark, Germany (East/West), Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia), Norway


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Running Time: 136m.

Festival cause célèbre Ole Christian Madsen -- the director of critically championed prior efforts including Kira's Reason (2001) and Prague (2006) -- turns away from the domestic drama that characterized his earlier filmography with this unusual period thriller, adapted from historical events. Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen star, respectively, as Flame and Citron. As two members of the anti-Nazi Danish resistance during the Second World War, their activities predominantly consist of hunting down and rubbing out Denmark's most prominent Nazi collaborators, and thus furthering the way for the Allied cause. Although Madsen opts for conventional subject matter here, and even a traditional perspective given his film's anti-Nazi stance, his deglamorized presentation retains a certain uniqueness, with the two main characters presented not as conventional heroes, but thoroughly desperate characters from the dregs of society with nothing left to lose except for their own lives -- and sociopaths prone to the most sadistic acts of ultraviolence against the enemy. Citron fares worst, as an utterly irredeemable alcoholic and drug addict, crumbling beneath the weight of a miserable, rotten marriage and a less-than-glowing relationship with his young daughter. In touting the film, Madsen openly cited Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows (1969) as one of his key influences. (allmovie.com)
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