The Promised Land – Nikolaj Arcel – Mads Mikkelsen – Movie Review by Efe Teksoy


Cinema Writer/Film Critic Efe TEKSOY; wrote the history and drama film “THE PROMISED LAND”,  for America’s Los Angeles-based Internet Newspaper @alaturkanews.



The Promised Land, directed by Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel, had its world premiere on August 31, 2023, at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, where it competed for the Golden Lion. The film, starring BAFTA-nominated successful actor Mads Mikkelsen, Official submission of Denmark for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category of the 96th Academy Awards in 2024. The film, a co-production between Denmark, Germany and Sweden, is based on the true story of Ludwig von Kahlen, a Danish captain and farmer. Adapted from the book The Captain and Ann Barbara by the famous and best-selling Danish novelist Ida Jessen, the production takes the audience to the mid-18th century, during the reign of King Frederik V of Denmark and Norway. Von Kahlen, who has embarked on a job that the king desires but no one else dares to do, wants to turn the barren lands into agricultural areas again and receive the title of nobleman if he realizes this dream. Ludwig, who sets out with the hope of wealth and honor, embarks on a great adventure by fighting against an aristocrat named Frederik De Schinkel.

Stars; Mads Mikkelsen, Amanda Collin, Gustav Lindh, Kristine Kujath Thorp, Felix Kramer, Søren Malling, Morten Hee Andersen, Magnus Krepper, Thomas W. Gabrielsson, Jacob Lohmann, Patricia Slauf and Simon Bennebjerg.



When it comes to interests, we see how cruel and cruel people can be. Philip Cole, who works as a senior lecturer in International Relations and Politics at UWE Bristol University, researches the philosophical history of the concept of evil in Western culture in his book The Myth of Evil; It offers a comprehensive account of evil, drawing on theology, psychoanalysis and fictional representations, and contemporary political events such as the global ‘war on terror’. Cole; “One way to understand at least some of the horrific acts is to see them as demonic, a determination to destroy and inflict suffering on others for no other purpose than to destroy them. “Most of them can be understood as caused by anger, ignorance, or dashed hopes, but some stand out as unspeakable and incomprehensible acts,” he says, noting that monstrous and pure forms of evil are based on demonic evil. We see that the evil shown in the film falls into the category of evil mentioned by Philip Cole. Famous political scientist and social theorist Hannah Arendt, one of the greatest philosophers of German philosophy, explains in depth how evil becomes ordinary as the ability to think and reason disappears, in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Just like we see in the movie with people who become ruthless for their interests.



The Promised Land movie, which was shot in Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic, was screened at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2023, after its world premiere. It was also invited to the ‘World Cinema’ section of the 28th Busan International Film Festival and was released on October 6, 2023.



ARENDT. Hannah, Eichmann in Jerusalem A report on the Banality of Evil (Kötülüğün Sıradanlığı: Adolf Eichmann Kudüst’te), Ozge Celik, translate, Istanbul: Metis Yayınları press, 2017

ARENDT. Hannah, Eichmann in Jerusalem A report on the Banality of Evil, Penguin Books, 1994

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