“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Namely the crimes committed in A Conspiracy of Faith, the third feature film in the “Department Q” franchise.

A Conspiracy of Faith (Flaskepost fra P) - Fares Fares and Nikolaj Lie Kaas
A Conspiracy of Faith (Flaskepost fra P): (L-R) Fares Fares, Nikolaj Lie Kaas – Photo by Henrik Ohsten

Of bestselling Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen‘s six “Department Q” novels, the first three have been adapted into Nordic noir feature films. The first, The Keeper of Lost Causes (Kvinden i buret), broke box office records in Denmark in 2013, and the second, The Absent One (Fasandræberne), did even better a year later — making them the most successful local films in Danish history.

This March the third film, A Conspiracy of Faith (original title Flaskepost fra P, roughly translated as A Message in a Bottle from P), will open in cinemas across the Scandinavian country and likely make as big a splash.

Reprising their roles for the film are multiple Bodil Awards and Robert Festival awards winner Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Bedrag, Men & Chicken, The Killing) as Carl Mørck, and Chicago International Film Festival winner Fares Fares (Zero Dark Thirty, Maria Wern) as Assad. The former is a surly detective reassigned from Homicide (in The Keeper of Lost Causes) to Department Q, a no man’s land of cold cases in the Copenhagen Police, and the latter is another transplanted officer who is Carl’s more peaceful and broadminded sidekick, the day to Carl’s night.

Also returning are Johanne Louise Schmidt as their assistant, Rose Knudsen, and Oscar® nominee Søren Pilmark (The Saboteurs, 1864) as their boss, Marcus Jacobsen. Joining the cast are Berlin International Film Festival winner Jakob Oftebro (1864, Lilyhammer), Amanda Awards winner Pål Sverre Hagen (Valkyrien, Kon-Tiki), and Robert Festival nominee Lotte Andersen (The Bridge, Rita).

A Conspiracy of Faith (Flaskepost fra P)
A Conspiracy of Faith (Flaskepost fra P) – Poster by Zentropa

A Conspiracy of Faith revolves around the intersection of two cases. The first centers on the missing persons case of a young brother and sister who suddenly disappear; the second focuses on an eight-year-old message in a bottle — a cry for help from a boy held in captivity — that makes its way from Scotland to Department Q.

Carl and Assad’s investigation reveals a link between the seemingly unrelated incidents. As they dig deeper, they become enmeshed in a horrific case involving religious fanaticism, a psychopathic killer, and numerous abducted siblings who were never reported as missing by their parents. And the cops are up against the clock; if they don’t find the children soon, the abductees could become murder victims.

Directed by the multiple award-winning Hans Petter Moland (In Order of Disappearance, A Somewhat Gentle Man) from the script by BAFTA Film and César Awards nominee Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair, King’s Game), A Conspiracy of Faith opens in Denmark on Thursday, the 3rd of March 2016.

Sundance Selects/IFC Films has picked up A Conspiracy of Faith, as well as The Keeper of Lost Causes and The Absent One (both of which I highly recommend, by the way), for North American distribution. Release dates for the new film in the US and UK have not been announced, so stay tuned for details.

A Conspiracy of Faith (Flaskepost fra P)
A Conspiracy of Faith (Flaskepost fra P): (L-R) Director Hans Petter Moland, actors Fares Fares, Pål Sverre Hagen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas – Photo by Henrik Ohsten

A Conspiracy of Faith is produced by the Zentropa Group in cooperation with TV 2 Danmark, ZDF German Television Network, ZDF Enterprises, TV4 Sverige, and TV 2 Norge, in co-production with Film i Väst. The film received support from the Danish Film Institute / Market Scheme, Eurimages, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, the Norwegian Film Institute, and Filmförderungsanstalt. It was developed with support from the Media Programme of the European Union.

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A Conspiracy of Faith (Flaskepost fra P): Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares in Department Q Thriller