🇩🇰 CRY WOLF 🇩🇰
Cry Wolf aka Ulven kommer (2020) is an award-winning Danish crime drama series available on All4 Walter Presents U.K. 8 45-minute episodes. Guidance re: content.
“Can children always be trusted – and how much stress and heartache can a family endure? Social worker, Lars Madsen, has only a few weeks to find out who is telling the truth in a family which may be suffering from domestic violence.” IMDb
Bjarne Henriksen as Lars Madsen
Flora Ofelia Hofmann as Holly Mølgård
Christine Albeck Børge as Dea Mølgård Hansen
Peter Plauborg as Simon Hansen
Noah Storm Otto as Theo Mølgård Hansen
Lila Nobel as Mona
Lone Rødbroe as Dorte
Justin Geertsen as Jonatan
Rasmus Hammerich as Brenning
Laura Skjoldborg as Majken
Line Kruse as Karen
Henning Valin Jakobsen as Rasmus
Creator: Maja Jul Larsen
Writers/Storyline: Maja Jul Larsen, Nanna Westh, Adam August, Karin Dam, Kim Fupz Aakeson
Directors: Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm, Niclas Bendixen, May el-Toukhy, Pernille Fischer Christensen
Composers: Christian Balvig, When Saints Go Machine
Cinematographers: Sine Vadstrup Brooker, Martin Munch, Niels Thastum, Laust Trier-Mørk
Editors: Linda Man, Jacob Thuesen, Rasmus Stensgaard Madsen
Production Designer: Josephine Farsø
Stunt Coordinator: Jacob Sebastian Malm Carlsen
Maja Jul Larsen is a writer on Borgen (2013-2022) and also wrote on The Legacy and Follow the Money.
May el-Toukhy also directed episodes of Ride Upon the Storm and The Legacy.
Sine Vadstrup Brooker was the cinematographer on The Chestnut Man and Face to Face. The cinematographer Martin Munch worked on Deliver Us, Follow the Money and Ride Upon the Storm. Niels Thastum was Director of Photography on Borg McEnroe. Laust Trier-Mørk was Director of Photography on Chosen, Equinox, Follow the Money and The Idealist (he directed E1 and E2 of Cry Wolf).
Linda Man is editing some of the new series of Borgen and worked on Deliver Us and Ride Upon the Storm. Jacob Thuesen used to be married to Sofie Gråbøl.
Filming locations were Dragør, Amager, Denmark and Kalundborg, Skælland, Denmark
Cry Wolf “was officially selected for Series Mania 2020 and won both The Golden Eye of the 16th Zurich Film Festival for the best Series and the Nordisk Film and TV Fond’s Script Award in February 2021.” (Entertainment Focus, March 11, 2021)
Before watching Cry Wolf I was aware that it and its cast had won several awards. I was intrigued as to how this series would approach such sensitive subject matter combined with being a “good watch”. This was especially so because I worked within education for some time and had occasional contact with social services regarding specific child welfare cases.
The major driving force for Cry Wolf is the veracity of what a child, in this case, 14-year-old Holly, describes in an essay that raises concerns about possible violence in the home.
Whilst it is interesting, and potentially shocking at times, to see how Danish social services approach and handle this possible case of a child or children being physically abused it is really our response as an audience that is key.
The way that this series explores the possibility that Holly may be lying in the fact of no evidence to the contrary puts us through a range of feelings about her and what is likely to really going on at home.
The crucial difference here, and again it is centred on a degree of conflict, is that of the experience and gut instinct of a somewhat maverick caseworker, Lars Madsen.
In many ways, and this struck me early on in the series this has the approach of a more typical crime show, with a possible crime in this case and a search for the truth that affects all those involved. The suspects, the witnesses, the investigators, the “system” and all those in their orbit.
I very much appreciated that we saw not only the cogs of the system whirring but the pressures upon those in management, caseworkers and also the parents as individuals at work and socially.
It is the case that we hear various alarm bells but are not always sure which are false alarms and which ring true. Likewise, our “allegiances” are encouraged to shift from episode to episode.
Lars as a character is wonderfully played by Bjarne Henriksen and his character feels so authentic (“real”) with depths that gradually reveal themselves. It helps that he is a generally (and genuinely) caring person and we feel for him when he becomes a bit of a scapegoat. He also has a few quirks such as his terrible diet, T-shirts and metal music blaring out in his car.
Along with Lars’s colleagues, this all shows what a hard job these social workers have in making the right call. We also see the role played by social media and how distortions can occur.
The performances of the youngsters in this cast, all of them, are outstanding! These are names to watch out for especially Flora Ofelia Hofmann as Holly and Noah Storm Otto as Theo.
The rest of the adult cast, often tackling very difficult roles on an emotional level, are excellent.
I loved the general directional choices and cinematography of Cry Wolf and the music score helped enhance the story, tension and atmosphere.
My only real negative about Cry Wolf, and make no mistake, I do really rate the show, is that episodes 1-5 moved very slowly. At times it did feel that what we were learning about Holly, her brother, their mother and father, Lars, the “system” did not push forwards as much as it could have done. I loved the way that episodes 6-8 played out. These episodes are hard to watch, at times very upsetting and also sad.
I was, as I said at the start, intrigued as to how this difficult and fiercely relevant story would play out. Clearly, there are obvious dangers if Holly is “just” lying for whatever reason. Likewise, it needs to be clear that violence within the home is also often self-perpetuating and history sadly frequently repeats itself. How would Cry Wolf tackle these and other important and highly emotive issues which I will not directly list because they would be falling into spoiler territory?
We see the impact that this all has on the children and the adults which includes some obvious warning signs that something is not right. There is a trigger warning for domestic violence attached to episodes of this show and these definitely need to be there. As I wrote near the start this is in many ways, similar to a police crime drama but I feel this has a greater degree of social responsibility written into it due to the subject matter, that this is a child “reported” crime and because it is essentially about Social Services and not the police (although the police and judiciary are involved).
Would I recommend Cry Wolf? I definitely would but with the proviso that the subject matter and its delivery do not make for an “easy” watch. At the very least this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece of TV that is well-written and very well acted.
7 Wins & 2 Nominations
Danish Film Awards (Roberts, 2021) Best TV Series ~ Pernille Fischer Christensen, Maja Jul Larsen, Claudia Saginario; Best Supporting Actress ~ Christine Albeck Børge; Best Actress ~ Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl; Best Supporting Actor ~ Peter Plauborg; Best Actor ~ Bjarne Henriksen
Gothenburg Film Festival (2021) Outstanding Writing ~ Maja Jul Larsen
Zurich Film Festival (2020) Best International Series ~ Maja Jul Larsen
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