Christopher Læssø stars in a supporting role in 'Empire'. The feature film will celebrate the world premiere in the Nordic Competition at Göteborgborg Film Festival starting on January 26.
EMPIRE is a story about power and mutual addiction, and with both deep seriousness and absurd humor it challenges the Danish historical amnesia. The movie is set on Saint Croix, the Danish west Indian islands, and the year is 1848. Anna Heegaard and Petrine is close friends. They are both women of color, but their way of life are completely different. Anna is a free woman and owner of the enslaved Petrine. Anna is living with the general governor Peter von Scholten at their country house, where she runs the house, the economy, and the beloved and trusted housekeeper Petrine. Everything is as it’s supposed to be, until the rumor about a rebellion begins to spread. Which side is Anna and Petrine standing on - and is it the same?
EMPIRE is nominated for the main competition at Gøteborg Film Festival and the prestigious Dragon Award, and thereby gets its world premiere at the film festival.
EMPIRE is Frederikke Aspöcks first historical project: “The movie turns the Danish colonial history upside down and challenges Denmark’s romanticized self-image. The world history is as known written by and for white men. EMPIRE has therefore conscious placed Afro-Caribbean female characters in the center of the narrative – enslaved as well as free”, says Frederikke Aspöck.
Anna Neye continues: “The same way women have been outwritten from the history of Denmark, the many colored Danish lives, have been as well. Visibility matters. EMPIRE is an art back-stage history experienced from a female perspective, where we have strived to dare to create colored people as whole characters. As a colored Dane, I sincerely hope the time, where colored Danes is just a footnote in the Danish history, has come to an end. It would be nice if we at least have our own chapter”.
Screenwriter Anna Neye is best known for the satire-series “Normalerweize” (2004-2011), which she developed together with Lærke Winther. She received the Danish Dramatist’s talent award in 2007 and has since 2009 primarily been occupied as a screenwriter. Anna got the idea for EMPIRE after a trip to the Danish West Indies, where she afterwards contacted Frederikke Aspöck.
EMPIRE is starring Anna Neye and Sara Fanta Traore in the leading roles as Anna and Petrine, while Claus Riis Østergaard plays von Scholten and Admiral Irminger is played by Jesper Groth.
It premieres in Danish cinemas on April 20.
Photo / Håvard Schei