It's a mystery how Peter Schonau Fog manages to combine child abuse, a study of a rural community, affecting tragedy and black comedy into a satisfying whole, but in "The Art of Crying" he pulls it off. A gently offbeat study of a Jutland family in the early 1970s as seen through the merciless, innocent gaze of an 11 year-old boy, this refreshingly unconventional pic tackles its taboos with
compassion, grace and wit.
Jonathan Holland, Variety

Emotionally devastating and astonishingly mature, this is a unique feature debut. Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Filmfestival

A young Scandinavian genius tackles Bergmanesque themes of family taboos and relationships with pathos, humor, and a loving eye. Chiseko Tanaka, Tokyo International Film Festival

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Los Angeles Journal - review

The Art of Crying (Kunsten At Graede I Kor): If you ever felt too detached to relate to those who have been sexually abused, director Peter Schonau Fog’s is a film to bring you extremely close to the evil reality of sexual abuse. Just watching the excellent portrayal by Jesper Asholt as an abusing father makes you sick. Dad whimpers, cries, and threatens suicide, all to garnish whatever level of attention he can attain from the unsuspecting. His son Allan (Jannik Lorenzen) is completely entranced by his father. His father’s tears are unbearable to the point that Allan even encourages his sister, Sanne (Julie Kolbeck), to "comfort" their father. Allan is so naïve he does not understand or even conceive of the atrocities occurring between his sister and his father. For the psychological observer, the film virtually displays all levels of the family dysfunctions where molestation is occurring: detachment, secrets, silence, sympathy seeking, distractions fabricated when arguments occur, and the lack of empathy, escapism, and violence from the disassociated. Yes, it is all here, maybe to excess. At times this International Feature Competition selection reads like a psychology book – perhaps a little too blatant. Written by Bo Hr Hansen, eliminating some scenes might have tightened the film but, as it is, it sharply hits home. Not for the weak at heart or those emotionally disturbed easily. – Robert Buhrow
(Screenings Nov. 3, 7 p.m.; Nov. 4, 3:15 p.m.)