Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark
The word “commune” actually dates back to the 12th century and is an economically based idea of sharing property work, and income, and, although communes still exist today in some form, they are certainly not the commune of the ‘60s and the ‘70s that Director Thomas Vinterberg wanted to pay tribute in his latest film. He grew up in a commune and wanted to remember a time where people shared. “It is a time that is over,” he said at the Berlinale press conference, “I miss it.” Erik (Ulrich Thomsen) inherits a house which he can’t manage financially alone. His wife, Anna (Trine Dyrholm), finds the traditional family life uninspiring and devises a plan that will enrich their lives and at the same time will share the economic responsibility. After interviewing several people, they become a group of seven adults, one teenager and one child and try to divide the work, rooms and have a set of rules that will be reasonable. Anna is a strong woman who seems to manage a lot of responsibility. She works for television and seems to be social and economically successful but when Erik, a university professor, falls in love with one of his students, her world slowly starts to fall apart. The film captures that nostalgic feeling of the seventies with appropriate costumes and music. Vinterberg said that, as a child, growing up in a commune was difficult since the adults were free to have open relationships and test things out. They spoke to the children as though they were adults and put a lot of responsibility on them which was very difficult for the kids to handle. The film opens our eyes to how we could learn to share and how we could deal with other people in our community especially at a time where so many refugees are coming in and need tolerance and teachings which will help them integrate into our societies. Due to her outstanding performance, Trine Dyrholm received the Silver Bear for best actress for her role as Anna in this film.