June 21, 2006 – 7:30pm
2004. Director: Susanne Bier.
Colour, 35mm, in Danish with
English subtitles. 110 mins.
Cast: Connie Nielsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
Sarah Juel Werner, Rebecca Løgstrup
Sometimes keeping the peace can have catastrophic
results. Winner of the Sundance Audience
Award for World Cinema, Susanne Bier’s
Brothers tells the story of how a UN peacekeeper is
captured and faced with a bleak choice that leaves him a broken man,
and turns the dynamics of his family upside down.
Michael (Ulrich Thomsen) has everything under control:
a successful military career as a major in the Danish army, a loving
wife (Connie Nielsen [Gladiator, Rushmore, The
Devil’s Advocate]), and two beautiful daughters. His younger
brother Jannick (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is an aimless
ne’er-do-well, drifting through life in an alcoholic haze. The film
opens with Michael picking up Jannick from prison, where he has just
served time for bank robbery. Soon after, Michael is sent to Afghanistan
on a UN peacekeeping mission. When his helicopter is shot down, Michael
is missing in action and presumed dead. No longer feeling bound by
his established family role, Jannick rises to the occasion. He stops
drinking, gets a job, and helps his brother’s family cope with their
loss. But Michael isn’t dead, he’s a prisoner of war, and he’s been
traumatized by the ordeal. When he returns home, his reactions are
those of a highly damaged man: he has no patience for his children,
is wracked with jealous rage over his brother’s friendship with his
family, and is filled with self-loathing over an act he can’t reveal
Frames of Mind is a monthly film event run utilizing film and video
to promote professional and community education on issues pertaining
to mental health and illness.
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Greg Passey,
MD, FRCPC, Director of Vancouver General Hospital’s Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder Clinic and a specialist in trauma psychiatry. In 1995,
Dr. Passey received the Laughlin Fellowship from the American College
of Psychiatrists for research and leadership in the field of Psychological
Consequences of UN Peacekeeping.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky,
Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development,
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.