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Adams Æbler * Anders Thomas Jensen * 2005

Adams ApplesJensen has worked on a few “dogma” films and I guess his most famous film is “Mifunes Sidste Sang” (“Mifunes Last Song”) (1999) (see elsewhere). He is a productive fellow especially as a writer, judging his IMDb “filmography”. “Adam’s Apples” is presented as a “black comedy”, but I myself do not really think this is a comedy. It is more comparable to a film such as “Salmer Fra Kjøkkenet” (“Kitchen Stories”) of Bent Hamer (2003) (see elsewhere), a weird drama with an absurd, but very subtle sense of humour. In “Adam’s Apples” the skinhead Adam is sent to a preacher called Ivan for the last part of his imprisonment. Ivan soon proves to be an overly trusting and naive man seeing no evil in anything. He even doesn’t change his mind about Adam after the latter beats him up. There are other people in the small community, such as the terrorist Khalid, the alcoholic kleptomaniac Gunnar and the ex-Nazi Poul. Everything anyone tries to do goes wrong and Ivan says that this is the devil testing their faith. With Adam’s arrival things change in the community dramatically.
“Adam’s Apples” subtely drives over “holy houses” as we call them in the Netherlands, but without becomming purposely insulting. Also things that we normally take for granted are reversed. Poul used to work in a concentration camp, but this is not a bad thing afterall; Adam has a photo of the handsome Hitler on his wall and Khalid robs tankstations for a good cause. Mockery is made of the Christian faith and a mentally disabled child made fun off. This results in some amusing scenes and the film has an overall absurdistic atmosphere that doesn’t make it offensive, quite the contrary in my opinion. A nice film from Denmark, no masterpiece, but the Scandinavians again prove that they have a weird sense of humour and can make very original films.

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