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

Monday, January 29, 2007

Göteborg festival daily - interview

The Art Of Crying

THE ART OF CRYING, directed by Danish filmmaker Peter Schønau Fog, is a gentle study of a dysfunctional family, set in rural Denmark in the early 1970s.

»I felt it was a really important film to make, even though it has been extremely stressful. The issue of child abuse is something that is dealt with in a very strange way. There is a certain taboo connected to it that I wanted to explore«, says Schønau Fog.

The film resolves around Allan, a precocious eleven-year-old boy who grows up with his mother, his depressive milkman father and his older sister Sanne. It should be an idealistic environment, but it is not. Allan’s father is frequently threatening to commit suicide, claiming that no one understands him, that no one loves him. Allan adores his father and tries his best to comfort him. Without realising the consequences of his actions, and in order to make his father feel better, Allan convinces his older sister to “comfort” daddy on the couch.

»THE ART OF CRYING« is a complex movie with moments that are tempered with dark, almost absurd humour that moves the spectator between despair and amusement. Schønau Fog always felt that the only way to treat the issue of child molestation was to add some humour to it.

»I hope people will watch my film forwardly and understand it retrospectively. I wanted to make a film that spoke to the audience through emotions. Sure, it is a black and tragic movie, but through the eyes of Allan, some things are so innocent that they become humorous. It’s so tragical it becomes bizarre«, says Schønau Fog.