Flame & Citron (2008) Dir. Ole Christian Madsen, Denmark.
Scandinavian films are no longer simply the realm of art house theaters and film festivals. Recent years have produced relative blockbusters of action-packed movies that appeal to wider audiences. Swedish film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series and John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let The Right One In garnered critical and popular praise as well as English-language adaptations. The Norwegian horror film Dead Snow has joined the ranks of classic zombie flicks with its “entertaining mix of camp, scares, and blood and guts” (Rotten Tomatoes).
Flame & Citron’s represents a recent big screen success from Norway’s Ole Christian Madsen. Set in Nazi-occupied Denmark, the film follows resistance fighters in their attempts to assassinate both Nazi officers and Danish collaborators. The title refers to the nicknames of the movie’s protagonists, the red-haired Flame and Citron, saboteur of Copenhagen-built Citroën cars and trucks built for the Germans.
Flame & Citron is an action-packed film that buzzes with treachery, deceit, gunfire and suspense. While the main characters are based on real-life resistance fighters, director Madsen doesn’t let history weigh down the forward-moving drive of the film, instead keeping his well-trained eye on the compelling details of Flame and Citron’s efforts. The fast pace, however, does leave room for the audience to question the rightness of Flame & Citron’s actions. Are they, as Washington Post film critic Michael O’Sullivan writes, resistance fighters or merely criminals?
Watch the trailer on YouTube.