Film & TV

Film Review: The Promised Land

In 1755, the impoverished Captain Ludvig Kahlen sets out to conquer the harsh, uninhabitable Danish heath, with a seemingly impossible goal: to build a colony in the name of the King.


The Promised Land is Denmark’s entry for Best International Feature at this year’s Oscars.

This Nordic style Western set in 1755, stars the fantastic international actor Mads Mikkelsen as Captain Ludvig Kahlen. Kahlen is an impoverished war hero who has served 25 years in the army and his dream is to build a settlement on the King’s land.

He envisions growing potatoes from Germany on vast uninhabitable heath land, and if successful to gain a Noble title with a home to match. There have been a few attempts on the land in the past with no success. Due to this, the King’s right-hand men accept his terms assuming he will never succeed.

The land Kahlen wishes to inhabit, is under the rule of Frederik De Schinkel, an uncharitable nobleman who acts like a spoiled brat and delusionary thinks everything belongs to him, due to his title.

As Kahlen’s journey begins he allows a farmer and his wife, who have escaped their brutal master and seeking refuge, to work and lodge with him. This turn of events leads to violent consequences.

We follow Kahlen’s spirited efforts and his want of a more prestigious stature. His only goal is to achieve his dream.

He reluctantly takes in a young girl Anmai Mus – a Tinker, fabulously played by Melina Hagberg and whom he eventually forms a strong bond. His relationships slowly grow and we get to see the realities of living in such harsh times.

With talented cast members Amanda Collin playing Ann Barbara his maid and Simon Bennebjerg who so convincingly plays the frighteningly evil adversary Fredrick De Schinkel, this film is one to look out for.

It will leave you shedding a tear and praying for what’s best for all involved.

If you enjoy period dramas involving hardships and questions of your own morals, you will really appreciate this film.

Reviewed by Gemma Crossland.

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