Opening at the Cinema Village in New York on August 6th and at Laemmle Sunset 5 Los Angeles on August 20th, Brotherhood is Nicolo Donato’s feature film debut, and with a winner of the Best Film prize already under his belt at the 2009 Rome Film Festival, this film-maker has definitely got his feature film career off in style.
A challenging film that definitely doesn’t hold back on it’s punches, Brotherhood follows the character Lars ( played by Thure Lindhardt) who is cheated out of promotion to a sergeant after it is alleged that he has been behaving inappropriately towards some of his men. Angry at his treatment Lars leaves the army returning home to overly proper suburban parents who do all they can to sweep this embarrassing incident under the carpet, leaving him even more frustrated at the situation he finds himself in.
That is until Lars comes across a small radical group of neo-Nazis led by the charismatic Michael ‘Fatso’ (Nicolas Bro). Feeling distant from their ideology and tactics, Lars however still joins as an act of defiance both against the system and his parents, and it’s not long before Fatso recognizes his potential advancing him through the ranks, against the judgement of Fatso’s right hand man, Jimmy (David Dencik).
Moving from his parents home into board chairman Ebbe’s remotely situated summer cottage that Jimmy is in the process of renovating, a chance in feelings soon occurs with the two moving from dislike to an attraction too strong to ignore, despite the ideology of the party they are tied to.
Distant from these views from the start it is not long before Lars tires of the neo-Nazis ways and when he discovers the extent of their anti-gay feelings he tries to withdraw leaving Jimmy forced to make the decision – should he support his younger brother, his ideology and his neo-Nazi ‘brethren’ – or his love with Lars…
Speaking about the message he felt the film tries to get across, the director and co-writer Nicolo Donato says:
A love story, first and foremost about forbidden love. It’s okay to disagree with other people, but it’s not okay to judge others by the color of their skin, their religion or sexual
orientation. It’s difficult to love everyone but I still think we should try. I know it sounds crazy but I think we need to become better at respecting each other.
If you disagree with someone, either they leave or you do! Violence is out of the question and unacceptable. It’s a sign of low intelligence.
But in a way I feel sorry for right-wing extremists. People who stoop to violence do so out of alienation. They tried – and failed – to solve their problems in other ways, and now they feel helpless to act against the system.
That’s the moment when some people turn to violence, and in this environment love is really put to the test.