The Gentle Pain

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One can't help wondering whether, some quarter-century ago, Carsten Brandt had the slightest inkling of the epic dimension the project he was then starting to conceive – The Gentle Pain – would take on in the subsequent decades. For it became epic in just about every sense of the word: the film is very long; it tells a multi-layered story characterised as much by its digressions as by its main narrative thread, which concerns a filmmaker’s attempts to make sense of the life of Thorkild Hansen, a Danish traveller/historian/writer internationally probably best known for his non-fiction novel Processen mod Hamsun (1978); and it took a long time to finish – and then sat on a shelf due to legal battles galore. What is now finally revealed is a monument of modern(ist) cinema: a work that as much charts one man’s journey into his soul as a voyage of discovery into another artist’s mind.

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Danish / 280 min / 2019

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