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A Conspiracy of Faith - Film Review (Scandinavian Film Festival 2017)

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Hailed the best Jussi Adler-Olsen adaptation to date
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This image courtesy of Scandinavian Film Fest 2017

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Images © Zentropa Entertainments20

Danish film A Conspiracy of Faith comes from the hands of Danish writer of crime fiction, publisher, editor and entrepreneur Jussi Adler-Olsen and is hailed as his best adaptation to date. It's not difficult to see why, in this film taken from the Department Q novel series, this being the third, of which there are currently seven. It certainly has propelled me to search out other novels by Adler-Olsen, and films starring lead actor Kaas.

A crime thriller 112 mins long, it's directed by Hans Petter Moland and stars Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Pål Sverre Hagen, Jakob Oftebro, and Amanda Collin. Winner of Streaming Award, Bodil Awards (Denmark) 2017 it has also been nominated best-adapted screenplay, best actor, best-supporting actor and actress, Robert Awards (Denmark) 2016, best international feature, audience award, and Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016.


Cold Case detectives Carl Mørck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and Assad (Fares Fares) come together to solve a dark crime that has slipped under the radar, until it comes to light in the form of an eight-year-old literal message in a bottle, written in blood. It's from a young boy crying for help and indicating he's caught in a religious cult. As Carl and Assad dig further, they discover it's far from an isolated incident. The strange factor is that no one from this rural community has reported any of these incidents, not even their parents.

In the midst of their investigations, a recent kidnapping of two children come to light. They've gone missing under similar circumstances as the cold case they're investigating. Carl and Assad find themselves in a race against time as they are drawn into a world of religious fanaticism. They are confronted with both the mistrust of the tight-knit community and their own personal beliefs in this dark and gripping film.


This is a stand-out film that keeps you engaged with none of the Hollywood hype. Its more in the vein of your Prime Suspect series that slowly unravels and reveals its storyline. Lead actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas is the perfect element in his role as Carl Mørck. He's broody, troubled, deep and intuitive, yet innocent and searching in his approach. Originally written as a 60-year-old detective, there was a lot of backlash from fans because Kaas was a lot younger. Now, I doubt any could imagine anyone else as Carl. Kaas has definitely made it his own. He applies great depth and hidden demons to his character which is mesmerising to watch as he expresses it so emotively.

Fellow detective Assad played by Fares Fares is the perfect non-complicated partner for Kaas' unstable character and adds the perfect balance. Actors Jakob Ulrik Lohmann (Elias) and Amanda Collin (Rakel) give more than noteworthy performances as the parents of the missing children, going through a range of emotions and fear. Last but not least, actor Pål Sverre Hagen as Johannes is a charismatic presence with his enigmatic smile and good looks, hiding within him, the devil inside. This film definitely needs to be on the 'must see' list.

You'll find this and many other wonderful films at the Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival hosted by Palace Cinemas, so be sure to head to the website, check out all the special events and amazing selection of films in your State. Start booking so as not to be disappointed. Stay up to date regarding updates and information via their Facebook page.



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Why? Scandinavian Film Festival 2017
When: SYD 11 Jul - 2 Aug: MEL 13 July - 2 Aug; CAN 18 Jul - 2 Aug; ADEL 19 - 30 Jul; BRIS 20 Jul - 6 Aug; PER 20 Jul - 2 Aug; HOB 20 - 26 Jul - 2017
Where: Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart; Australia
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