When calm returns on Arte: what is this moving Danish miniseries?

“When the calm returns” is a poignant Danish mini-series which has been available since last week on Arte and Arte.tv. In 10 episodes, it explores the sometimes difficult reconstruction of people victims of a terrorist attack …

When calm returns on arte: what is this moving danish miniseries?
DR Sales

What is it about ?

One Friday evening in Copenhagen, in a recently opened restaurant, the evening is brutally interrupted by the irruption of two masked men who begin to shoot and dramatically change the destinies of the guests.

Nine days earlier, Nikolaj, chef at the same restaurant, decides to confront his boss with questionable methods. Morten, who works as a plumber, and Camilla, a teacher, are about to celebrate their twelfth wedding anniversary, but their hearts are not there because their son’s behavior worries them.

Minister of Justice, Elisabeth wants to pass a law more favorable to asylum seekers. Jamal, a young hairdresser, despairs of getting his driver’s license. The 8-year-old Marie discovers a bag of ammunition in a forest …

When the calm returns is broadcast since Thursday, July 29 on Arte and is already available in full on Arte.tv.

A shattering drama

Laughs. Conversations. The hubbub. And suddenly, a shot. Then another. The screen turns black. Screams are heard

From the first seconds, When the Calm returns sets the scene for a poignant series that tells us how a terrorist attack will disrupt the peaceful lives of eight people. The plot here does not revolve around violence, guns or the people who hold them.

No, she focuses instead on those people for whom, after this tragic evening, nothing will ever be the same again. With its narration made of back and forth between past and present, the spectator follows these characters nine days before and nine days after this attack. And unlike them, he knows what’s going to happen …

If this choral drama is reminiscent of the attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015 which left 130 dead, the events recounted in When the Calm returns are completely fictitious, even if they are borrowed from a disturbing realism.

Composed of 10 episodes, this mini-series created by Dorte W. Hogh and Ida Maria Rydén follows eight characters who seemingly have nothing in common, but who will see their destinies linked forever by the decisions they have taken, whether they are small or large.

With its sober staging that focuses on the characters, When Calm Comes Back offers us a discreet look at the journey of people faced with the unthinkable who will have to rebuild themselves and cope with mourning and survivor syndrome, while highlighting the ills of Danish society.

If you missed the first 5 episodes of this critically acclaimed drama, don’t panic: head over to Arte.tv now. For the others, the last 5 episodes will be broadcast on Arte this Thursday, August 5 from 8:55 p.m.

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