© NFP/Warner

Jussi Adler Olsen - Erbarmen (The Keeper of Lost Causes, Kvinden I Buret)
Denmark/Germany/Sweden 2013

Opening 23 Jan 2014

Directed by: Mikkel Nørgaard
Writing credits: Jussi Adler-Olsen, Nikolaj Arcel
Principal actors: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Claus Maack Bahnsen, Sonja Richter, Mikkel Boe Folsgaard

Carl Mørck is a police inspector relegated to the basement of the police station. He and an assistant have to be content to work on cold cases. Perhaps this is a good solution to keep him out of trouble and out of the hair of his fellow policemen. Dream on. Naturally, Mørck digs up a cold case which he is determined to solve: politician Merete Lynggaard disappeared off the deck of a ferry five years ago. What happened? Where is she? We settle in for the next 90 minutes to find the answers.

The story is based on a book by Jussi Adler-Olsen. The German title is actually Jussi Adler-Olsen-Erbarmen. The original Danish title is Kvinden i Buret which means literally The Woman in the Cage (so is that the first clue?). In Great Britain the film runs as Mercy and in the U.S. as The Keeper of Lost Causes. Of course, no matter the title, it will be a success in Germany, along with all the other Scandinavian detective whodunits which dominate the television screen. You can watch this one in the cinema, or wait for TV. At any rate, it is good entertainment, and I had a big discussion afterwards with a colleague about whether Merete had disappeared for five years or only one. That’s really important, right? Naturally, there will be a sequel, after all Adler-Olsen has written more than one book. The music is to love or hate, but definitely not to ignore. The film’s German premiere was at the 2013 Filmfest Hamburg. It also showed at the Locarno film festival where it won the audience prize for best film. (Becky Tan)

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