At first glance, Henrik, Nina and Stine seem to be a perfectly average family. Henrik is a swimming teacher and his wife Nina is a secretary. If this well-heeled middle-class couple have a problem at all then it’s their 14-year-old daughter. Stine’s going through a difficult phase. It’s not easy for Henrik and Nina to get through to their pubescent teenager and increasingly, Stine seems to be distancing herself from her parents.
Somebody Stine does talk to, however, is the school therapist; one day she astounds him by telling him something that puts an end to family life as was: Stine accuses her father of having committed a heinous crime. The authorities lose no time in instructing Stine to leave her parent’s house. Henrik is arrested and taken to a prison where he is detained until charges are preferred. He remains behind bars throughout the duration of his trial. In spite of the enormous psychological strain and the fact that their friends begin to turn their back on Henrik, Nina stands by her husband throughout – until he is finally acquitted.
Months pass before the parents are able to see their daughter again and talk about what happened. It’s high time for a reconciliation, and an explanation – during the course of which the dark side of this ostensibly normal family begins to emerge.
by Jacob Thuesen
with Troels Lyby, Sofie Gråbøl, Paw Henriksen, Louise Mieritz
Denmark 2004 103’

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