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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Norway

Erik Poppe to direct new drama Quisling

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- Produced by Paradox, the feature will focus on the titular infamous man responsible for one of the greatest betrayals during World War II

Erik Poppe to direct new drama Quisling
Director Erik Poppe (© Paradox/SF Studios)

Paradox, SF Studios’ Norwegian production outfit, announced this week the making of a new psychological drama, entitled Quisling.

The film is set to be directed by Erik Poppe, one of the founders of Paradox, who previously helmed acclaimed films highlighting events in Norwegian history, such as The King’s Choice [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile
]
(2016) and U - July 22 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile
]
(2018). His latest film, a war drama entitled The Emigrants, is currently in post-production.

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Quisling will follow the titular infamous man responsible for one of the greatest betrayals during World War II. The film takes place as the German occupation of Norway ends following five years of occupation, on May 8, 1945. The rebuilding of the nation must begin, but the chapter of Nazi occupation in the country’s history must be closed for the healing to start. Vidkun Quisling, the Prime Minister of Norway and a notorious Nazi collaborator, sits in a dark cell at Akershus Fortress. He committed the greatest betrayal of all, and must now be held accountable for his actions and the atrocities that the ideology of Nazism led to. In the aftermath of World War II, Quisling was put on trial and executed for his collaboration with the Nazis. Since his death, the word “Quisling” is used in Scandinavian and English language to describe a “collaborator” and “traitor”, such is his legacy.

Speaking about the project, Finn Gjerdum, producer at Paradox, said: “Telling this dramatic chapter in our history is a mission we take very seriously, and we believe cinema is the best way to tell it. It was an intense psychological drama and a thriller that unfolded during these days of 1945. The parallels between what created and drove Quisling, and certain forces in our present time, are frightening.”

The feature also received a 18 million Norwegian crown production grant from the Norwegian Film Institute. Asle Vatn, film consultant at the agency, talked through the project’s potential and explained: “Quisling is Erik Poppe and Paradox’s third film in the trilogy ‘a fragile democracy’. This time, they want to focus on the abuser’s thoughts and motives. The strong script is based on thorough research and on previously unknown and unique sources. Quisling continues to provoke debate 75 years after his death both in Norway and internationally. I have great faith that this project will be able to attract audiences to the cinemas, and open up for public debate.”

Quisling is set to enter production at the end of the year. It is being produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B. Kvae for Paradox and SF Studios. SF Studios will handle its Nordic distribution.

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