Ole Christian Madsen tackles the Copenhagen terrorist attack in Notat
by Vassilis Economou
- After a five-year hiatus, the acclaimed Danish director returns to filmmaking and deals with a recent real-life event that is still a sensitive topic for the Danes
Almost five years have gone by since Itsi Bitsi [+see also:
film profile], Ole Christian Madsen’s last film to date. In the meantime, the acclaimed Danish director, known for Superclásico [+see also:
film profile] and Flame & Citron [+see also:
film profile], has been engrossed in the US action TV series Banshee, which ended two years ago. As he recently announced, Madsen is now ready for his next feature project, a Danish production entitled Notat, which deals with the 2015 Copenhagen terrorist attack.
On 14-15 February 2015, two shootings occurred in Copenhagen, carried out by the same person, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, starting in the afternoon at the Krudttønden cultural cafe and continuing later, after midnight, at Copenhagen’s main synagogue. The attacks left three dead in their wake: Danish documentary filmmaker Finn Nørgaard, Jewish night watchman Dan Uzan and the perpetrator himself. Inspired by these real-life events, the film, which will cover a period of 48 hours, follows four main characters: the two victims, the attacker and the SWAT police officer who shot him dead. According to Madsen, Notat’s storyline will be character-driven, based on the profiles of the leading characters, instead of having an actual plot.
Even though the film has only just been announced, Madsen has known since 2015 that he wanted to make the movie. Apart from the shock that set in after the news of the attack, he also had another reason for wanting to get involved, as he knew Nørgaard personally and they had collaborated in the past. In order to develop the story, the director has been in contact with the families of the victims. Furthermore, he believes that the length of time that has passed since the events is quite reasonable in order to deal with such a sensitive issue, as it will help to open up a dialogue on the current issues that all societies, Danish included, are facing today.
Budgeted at close to €3 million, Notat will be produced by Creative Alliance, the production house co-owned by Madsen, Lone Scherfig, Dagur Kári and Per Fly, and has the support of the Danish Film Institute and SF Studios, while a number of German financiers will be confirmed at a later date. The cast has not yet been finalised, and according to the schedule, filming will commence in January 2019.
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