Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

A War 2015


Directed by Tobias Lindholm World

“Propulsive action drama meets philosophical rumination in A War, a superlative Danish take on the Middle East-set soldier story – think American Sniper by way of Borgen.” — Kevin Maher, The Times

Denmark In Danish with English subtitles
115 minutes DCP



René Ezra
Tomas Radoor


Magnus Nordenhof Jønck


Adam Nielsen

Production designer

Thomas Greve

Costume designer

Louize Nissen


Sune Rose Wagner


Pilou Asbæk (Claus M. Pedersen)
Tuva Novotny (Maria Pedersen)
Søren Malling (Martin R. Olsen)
Dar Salim (Najib Bisma)
Dulfi Al-Jabouri (Lufti ‘Lasse’ Hassan)


Venice 2015


Nominated, Best Foreign Language Film, Academy Awards 2016


A tense, measured investigation of the moral ambiguity of combat, Tobias Lindholm’s rattling new military drama has already proven its international resonance, securing an Oscar nomination in the Foreign Language category earlier in the year. A War follows the trials of a compassionate military commander (Danish player and Game of Thrones star Pilou Asbæk) who, in the chaos of a firefight with the Taliban, makes a decision to save his men that has disastrous consequences. As the drama shifts from war zone to war trial, Lindholm proves as skilled in evoking the madness of the battlefield as he is in exploring the ethical ramifications that unspool from it.

From his gripping ocean-set thriller A Hijacking (NZIFF13) to his wrenching screenplays for Borgen and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt (NZIFF12), Lindholm proves himself again a master in presenting thorny moral arguments with a remarkable pulse for even-handedness and authenticity. — JF

“Always compelling, A War demands that viewers engage with the questions your 13 Hours or American Sniper fears to take on, weighing the moral costs of ‘our’ lives versus ‘theirs’, asking what toll the choices that soldiers face exact upon them, and taking a hard look at the impossibility of justice in many cases of civilian casualties. Lindholm manages all this without denying us the pleasures of suspenseful storytelling, and without denying any character his or her due empathy.” — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

Listen In: Danish actor Pilou Asbæk talks to Kathryn Ryan on RNZ Nine to Noon.