Festen

  • Directors: Thomas Vinterberg
  • Producers: Birgitte Hald, Morten Kaufmann
  • Writers: Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen, Birthe Neumann, Trine Dyrholm

Respected family patriarch and businessman Helge (Henning Moritzen) is celebrating his 60th birthday at their family-run hotel. Gathered together are his loyal wife Elsa, his daughter Helene, his sons Michael (Thomas Bo Larsen) and Christian (Ulrich Thomsen), and other guests. Christian’s twin sister, Linda, had recently killed herself at the hotel.

Before the celebration dinner, Helene finds Linda’s suicide note, but hides it. Later, during dinner, Christian makes a speech to the family in which he accuses Helge of sexually abusing him and his late sister, Linda. Helge’s family and friends initially dismiss the accusations as absurd, a joke, or a figment of Christian’s imagination. During a toast, Elsa makes a series of back-handed compliments towards her children, accusing Christian of having an overactive imagination as a child, and asking him to apologize. Christian responds by accusing her of interrupting Helge during a rape. Michael ejects Christian from the hotel.

At the end of the film, Christian’s accusations are confirmed when the younger sister, Helene, reads Linda’s suicide note. Linda’s note states that she had begun to have dreams in which her father was molesting her again, which led to her suicide. Helge admits to the abuse, saying that it was all Christian was good for.

The next morning, Helge admits the abuse of his children and the destruction of his family. Michael nevertheless sends him away from the table, pointing out that he has to go so that they can have breakfast.

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