Brow Beat

Watch the Intense Trailer for A War, Denmark’s Oscar Nominee About Combat in Afghanistan

Still from the trailer
A scene from A War, from the director of A Hijacking.

Still from the trailer

Tobias Lindholm’s A War is the eleventh Danish film to be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar since the award category was created in 1956—and Magnolia Pictures, which has been sitting on the U.S. distribution rights, has finally given the film a release date and a trailer. If you know any Danish actors, you’ll probably see some familiar faces here: A War stars Pilou Asbæk and Søren Malling, who played Kasper Juul and Torben Friis, respectively, on the beloved Danish political drama series Borgen.

Lindholm, who was a writer for Borgen, revisits some familiar themes here, including work-life conflict and the corrupting influence of political power. A War follows Claus (Asbæk), a military commander contending with chaotic violence in Afghanistan as his wife and children struggle to hold things together back home. When he mistakenly bombs a group of civilians to protect his troops, Claus finds himself on trial for a crime he never intended to commit. Lindholm cast real-life Danish soldiers and Afghan refugees in the film, a choice that reflects the moral complexity he’s striving to convey. In A War’s production notes, the writer-director says, “I want to add some nuance to the debate by defending as many positions as I can, putting myself in other people’s shoes rather than telling the story from my own political standpoint.” A War hits theaters Feb. 12.