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Flame & Citron

~Toronto International Film Festival 2008~

Writer-director Ole Christian Madsen has resurrected a true story of Danish resistance against the Nazis during World War II with the fascinating thriller, Flame & Citron. The title refers to the two central characters, code-named Flame (Thure Lindhardt) and Citron (Mads Mikkelsen), fearless Nazi fighters who calmly assassinated collaborators who worked with the Nazis during the occupation of Denmark. Together, the pair were best friends and colleagues, fiercely committed to eliminating all traitors. But that’s the key to the tension in Madsen’s film: Even as assignments are carried out, our heroes find that things are not as clear cut as they would like to believe. Is the police official who secretly heads their underground cadre really a straight-shooter? Or is he operating on another agenda? Can they believe him when he says that there’s an informer in the group? And what of the double agent Ketty (Stine Stengade), who beds both Flame and the head of the local Gestapo? Madsen stages his action sequences with cold-blooded skill, creating concise, effective scenes of sudden, passionate violence – but violence that takes its toll on the perpetrator as well as the victim. Even the chilly Flame finds himself shaken at times, whether it’s being forced to assassinate a woman (something at which he previously had drawn the line) or accidentally killing a child. Lindhardt and Mikkelsen make a fascinating team – Lindhardt with his snarly grimace and swatch of coppery hair, Mikkelsen the more saturnine behind glasses and an unchangingly acidic expression. Stengade is appropriately slippery as Flame’s love interest, who may or may not be double-dealing. Flame & Citron is straightforward, brutal and exciting, a gripping tale of men ready for death in the face of unknowable treachery and a vicious enemy, but willing to fight for a cause nonetheless. It should be required viewing. – Marshall Fine, Hollywood and Fine

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Directed by: 
Ole Christian Madsen
Running Time: 
In Danish, English, and German with English subtitles.
Thure Lindhardt, Mads Mikkelsen, Stin Stengade, Christian Berkel
Screenplay by: 
Lars Andersen, Ole Christian Madsen

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