Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Panorama Special

Kongens Nei

The King's Choice

Stein B. Kvae (Producer) Harald Rosenløw Eeg (Screenwriter) Jan Trygve Røyneland (Screenwriter) Andreas Lust (Actor), Karl Markovics (Actor), Erik Poppe (Director), Katharina Schüttler (Actress), Finn Gjerdrum (Producer), Moderation: Anatol Weber

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On 9 April 1940 the German army invades Norway without having declared war. The Norwegians’ conviction that their consistently neutral policies would protect them from Hitler’s aggressive plans has proved to be a grave mistake. Confusion and chaos soon spread. With Hitler’s blessing, fascist leader Quisling stands poised to become Norway’s Minister-President. But the Norwegian royal family refuses to bend to the will of the Germans. King Haakon VII, who has left Oslo for the village of Nybergsund with his family, his government and countless politicians, proves to be a bastion of calm: should the Norwegian parliament decide to capitulate and bow to the demands from Berlin he will, he declares, abdicate without hesitation. Hitler answers this moral gauntlet with bomb attacks; the Norwegians however interpret the King’s words as an appeal to resist. Erik Poppe’s impressive historical epic is part chamber piece and part battle painting. At the same time his film is an anthem to those who exhibit pride, dignity and courage in the face of oppressive political circumstances.

Erik Poppe

Norway / Sweden / Denmark / Ireland 2016

Norwegian, German

130’ · Colour


Jesper Christensen (King Haakon)
Anders Baasmo Christiansen (Crown Prince Olav)
Karl Markovics (Curt Bräuer)
Tuva Novotny (Crown Princess Märtha)
Arthur Hakalahti (Fredrik Seeberg)
Svein Tindberg (Peder Wedel Jarlsberg)
Andreas Lust (Hartvig Pohlman)
Katharina Schüttler (Anneliese Bräuer)
Ketil Høegh (Halvdan Koht)
Gerald Pettersen (Johan Nygaardsvold)


Erik Poppe
Jan Trygve Røyneland, Harald Rosenløw Eeg
John Christian Rosenlund
Einar Egeland
Johan Söderqvist
Sound Design
Christian Schaanning
Morten Solum
Production Design
Peter Bävman
Karen F. Gram
Elizabeth Bukkehave
Øystein Kjennerud
Assistant Director
Jan Trygve Røyneland
Production Managers
Mina Holdhus, Endre Eldøy
Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B. Kvae
Executive Producers
Henrik Zein, Malene R. Ehlers, Lone Korslund, Thomas Gammeltoft, Thomas Eskilsson, Jesper Christensen, Erik Poppe, Jan Petter Dickman, Stein B. Kvae, Finn Gjerdrum
Jackie Larkin, Lesley McKimm, Madeleine Ekman, Katarina Krave
Newgrange Pictures, Dublin
Zentropa Sweden, Trollhättan


Erik Poppe

Born in Oslo, Norway in 1960, he began his career as a press photographer, winning several awards. After studying at the Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm, he worked as a cinematographer on several feature films before making his debut as a director with Schpaa which screened in the 1999 Panorama. The film was the first instalment in his multi-award-winning Oslo Trilogy which also comprises Hawaii, Oslo and DeUsynlige (Troubled Water). In 2017 his film Kongens Nei (The King’s Choice) also screened in Panorama.


1998 Schpaa 2004 Hawaii, Oslo 2008 DeUsynlige (Troubled Water) 2013 Tusen ganger god natt (A Thousand Times Good Night) 2016 Kongens nei (The King’s Choice) 2018 Utøya 22. juli (U - July 22)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018

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