Nils Malmros Retrospective: Tree of Knowledge

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KUNDSKABENS TRÆ (Tree of Knowledge, Denmark 1981, 9.10., with guest Nils Malmros & 20.10.) Vignettes from the life of a handful of school children on the threshold between childhood and teenagerdom shot over two years “which gradually fan out into an entire social cosmos of longing and rejection, power and isolation” (Florian Keller). Elin, the most popular girl in her class, is being slowly excluded from the group for reasons she can’t entirely understand. Malmros sounds out the hardships of these adolescents with sensitivity, tracking how their realm of experience shifts between jealousy and heartache and how their group dynamic changes from day to day. The fact that something substantial has taken place amongst the everyday is indicated by the title of the film and with it the notion of lost innocence.

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