A bitter-sweet comedy, Denmark is a cross between The Full Monty and The Straight Story. The story of one man’s pursuit of a dream no more ridiculous than the times we live in. Herb – 38 years old – is a man in crisis, staring down the barrel of a post-Brexit UK. Without a job or access to hot running water, he is a man robbed of his dignity; a man without a life, a man without a future. A man locked in a cycle of benefits and bullshit.
Herb lives in Merthyr Tydfil in the heart of the Welsh Valleys. This is his home. Like the infection on his foot, there’s no escaping it. Once famous for coal, Merthyr is better known today for inadequate housing and high levels of heart disease; a place that politicians in power never talk about, and those seeking election never shut up about. The usual crap.
Herb doesn’t go out at night. Far too dangerous; too many drunks, too many crazy people out there. Instead, curtains drawn, he spends his nights watching TV, trying to make sense of the crazy world around him. And what a world! Out of the TV pours a cavalcade of misery and madness; from the war in Syria to politicians barking at each other on Question Time; from Donald Trump’s ‘fake news’ to Theresa May’s ‘red, white and blue Brexit,’ it’s relentless, until that is, Herb hits the remote and on comes a
documentary about prisons in Europe.
He sits up – wide-eyed – as images of hot showers, soft beds, and sparkling canteens play out in front of him. Can it really be that life in a Danish prison is better than life as a free man in Merthyr? Yes it can.
Writer: Jeff Murphy (Hinterland)
Location: Partly set and shot in South Wales
Crew: 95% Welsh
Producer: Ed Talfan, Severn Screen,
Supported by: Ffilm Cymru Wales
Director: Adrian Shergold (Funny Cow)
Writer: Jeff Murphy
Cast: Rafe Spall
Production Company: BBC Films, Daybreak Pictures
Length: 92 mins
Format: DCP, Digi Beta
Date: 5th June 2020
Glasgow Film Festival (26 February – 8 March 2020)