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Lordy, I hope there… Too late, hung parliament… I beg your pardon, those real-life dramas in the US and UK had me glued to the telly yesterday. For weekend viewing, there’s The Day Will Come, a dramatization of actual events that happened in Denmark.

The Day Will Come (Der kommer en dag)
The Day Will Come (Der kommer en dag): Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt as Erik and Harald Kaiser Hermann as Elmer — Photo © Christian Geisnaes, courtesy of Netflix

The multiple award-winning The Day Will Come (Der kommer en dag) is actually a Danish film that has been edited into a three-part miniseries for US and UK audiences.

Written by Søren Sveistrup (The Killing) and directed by Jesper W. Nielsen (Borgen), each of whom won at least one Robert Festival award for his work on this drama, The Day Will Come is a gut-wrenching yet hopeful drama based on the real-life horrors experienced by young boys at an orphanage in Denmark.

Ten-year-old Elmer (Harald Kaiser Hermann, Follow the Money) and thirteen-year-old Erik (Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt, The Other World) are brothers. They’re inseparable and not the most obedient of children, and these traits work against them, and later for them, after their single mum (Sonja Richter, The Keeper of Lost Causes) falls ill and Social Services places the lads in the Gudbjerg Home for Boys.

Operating Gudbjerg as if he, his staff, and their charges were living in the time of Charles Dickens is the tyrannical Headmaster Heck (Lars Mikkelsen, The Team, Borgen), who is devoted to corporal punishment and hard physical labor as ways to instill discipline in the boys while giving them the most basic of education and skills for adulthood.

Elmer and Erik discover very quickly that Heck’s main slap-master and henchman is the merciless head teacher (Lars Ranthe, Dicte, Badehotellet) and that becoming “invisible” at Gudbjerg doesn’t spare you from the horrendous bullying of some of the older boys.

Theirs is now a life lived in constant fear and utter abuse. If only Elmer could fulfill his dream of being an astronaut now, so he could launch himself and Erik out of this hellhole.

Will the new teacher (Sofie Gråbøl, Fortitude, The Killing), who doesn’t believe in beating boys into submission, be of any help to the brothers as they plan their escape? We shall see…

The Day Will Come is based on events that occurred at Godhavn, the real-life children’s home (which still exists) that became the focus of an independent investigation into the widespread abuses and brutality at such institutions in Denmark.

Also featuring in the drama are Laurids Skovgaard Andersen (Nr. 7), David Dencik (Gentlemen & Gangsters), Solbjørg Højfeldt (The Kingdom), and Søren Sætter-Lassen (1864).

The Day Will Come is now streaming in the US and UK on Netflix.


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Euro TV to Watch: Danish Historical Drama The Day Will Come