Foreign Fields

An attempt to tell a story about jaded humanity in a world where violence begets violence and where in the end the violence is entertainment and a means in itself, this Danish movie about soldiers in Serbia is at best mildly interesting, at worst downright boring. B.O. future for this first feature by young helmer Aage Rais is not very bright.

An attempt to tell a story about jaded humanity in a world where violence begets violence and where in the end the violence is entertainment and a means in itself, this Danish movie about soldiers in Serbia is at best mildly interesting, at worst downright boring. B.O. future for this first feature by young helmer Aage Rais is not very bright.

Main character is a young Dane, Jacob (Pelle Hvenegaard, who as a kid played the title role in “Pelle the Conqueror”). Jacob has joined the peace-keeping forces in Bosnia and is sickened by the troops’ inability to prevent the killing of civilians. He joins Danish sergeant Holt (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) in guiding a trio of civilians through Serb territory but, to his horror, discovers that they have paid money to get a chance to kill. After the group attacks a Serbian village and kills its inhabitants, Jacob and the others try to get back to their own territory. The principal characters remain ciphers, and — apart from one scene of peasants being gunned down — potentially horrific sequences of execution and slaughter are mostly inept or confusing.

Foreign Fields

(DENMARK)

Production: A Balboa 2 production, in association with Exitfilm and Zentropa Prods. (International sales: Scanbox, Denmark.) Produced by Henrik Danstrup. Executive producer, Peter Aalbaeck Jensen. Directed by Aage Reis. Screenplay, Reis, Jens Dahl. Camera (color), Bo Tengberg; editor, Darek Hodor; music, Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson; art director, Kalja Kivi; costumes, Bettina Ovgaard; sound (Dolby SR), Jens Bonding. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival, Feb. 4, 2000. Original title: Pa fremmed mark. Running time: 93 MIN.

With: With: Pelle Hvenegaard, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, Johan Widerberg, Julia Jager, Steve Nicolson.

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