What No One Knows / Det som ingen ved

Shaken, slightly disoriented, keenly aware of the the video surveillance cameras all around me, I leave the Zoo Palast. It is Berlinale and I was in the not-quite-sold-out world premiere of Søren Kragh-Jacobsen's new film "Det som ingen ved" (What No One Knows).

The Danish co-founder of Dogma95 has woven three films into one thick braid: a spy story based on the book "En Anden Tid" (A Second Time) by Søren Lassen (who, according to blog rumor, got to be an extra on the set), your typical Danish family drama, and an unsettling demonstration of Big Brother watching you. The film is interspersed with short cuts in black and white of cameras and of the pictures they are taking. They are everywhere, you can't get away.

When Thomas complains to Ursula about this she asks him if he has been living in a cave or what the past half a year. They are put up to fight druggies and crime and "terrorists". She taunts: "But now that they are being used against you, you don't like them. Or were you a bad boy, Thomas, were you a bad boy?"

Back to the story: A nice, Danish family dinner gets traditionally interrupted by bad news, Marianne wants to divorce Thomas. Thomas gets drunk, meets briefly with his sister in the garden. She has something important to tell him, someone she wants him to meet, but she won't tell him because he is drunk. She tells him to be at the cold baths in Ribersborg across the bridge in Sweden tomorrow night. When he arrives, she has disappeared and is found drowned with a nasty bash on the head.

He finds papers in her apartment about bioterrorism, and of course the Danish Secret Service and the Secret Secret Service called Tyrfing after a magic sword, and the CIA and and and. Anyway, he joins up with Ursula to try and sort this out, and she admonishes him to make sure that he is not being followed.

Suddenly they are everywhere. Suspicious people who could be spies. Cameras. Hidden microphones. More cameras. More suspicious people. Who can you trust? Enough of them do scare him, hurt him or his family. Who will be next?

The braid comes together for some sort of happy end, only to have another pesky camera taking pictures again. As the credits roll we have throbbing music and pictures of cameras and microphones flashing by, beating to the rhythm of the music. I feel that my heart is following this rhythm and the cameras are boring themselves into my eyes. They are everywhere.

And so they are on my way home. They are everywhere. I know, I don't like it, but I don't protest enough. I seriously consider wearing a Tschador, that would hide me, but it might be a tad to conspicuous, even in Berlin, for me to show up to work in one.

An eerie feeling of being watched still surrounds me, hours later, even as I write these lines. A masterful film, not scheduled for release in Denmark until this summer, for whatever reason I do not know. I hope it wins a bear - preferably gold.

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