King's Choice

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Norway | 2016 | 130 minutes | Erik Poppe

This dramatic wartime epic, shortlisted for the 2017 Best Foreign language Oscar®, is set over the course of three days in 1940, when the aging King of Norway is presented with an unimaginable ultimatum from the German army: Surrender or die!

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Based on true extraordinary events, King's Choice revives a terrifying yet pivotal time in Norwegian history. The film spans across three days in April 1940 during WWII where Nazi Germany demanded the neutral country of Norway to surrender for its own "protection." With a strategic goal to secure the coastline and harvest a supply of iron ore for the war effort, Nazi Germany sends envoy Kurt Brauer (Karl Markovics) to negotiate with Norway's reigning monarch, King Haakon VII (Jesper Christensen), who struggles with making the right choice: If he delays in surrendering and decides to continue pushing back against German forces, many innocent lives will be lost in the crossfire; but in handing over Norway, he will lose his country to Nazi influence and lose the respect of his people and be deemed a traitor. With a backdrop of German ships and planes, the king consults his government and issues an ultimatum: abdication of the throne. Coming to an agreement, the Norwegian government relays their refusal to surrender, triggering Nazi Germany to carry out an airstrike in attempt to assassinate the king. King's Choice is a remarkable story of rebellion and backroom bureaucracy during a time of international chaos.

Director Biography 

Norwegian filmmaker Erik Poppe started his career in the 1990s, working as a cinematographer on films such as Eggs (1995) and Sonja Henie: Queen of the Ice (1995). In the early 2000s, he moved into producing and directing, well known for films like Hawaii, Oslo (2004) and 1,000 Times Goodnight (2013).

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  • Original Language Title: Kongens Nei
  • Director: Erik Poppe
  • Principal Cast: Jesper Christensen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Karl Markovics, Tuva Novotny, Sofie Falkgård, Ingrid Ross Raftemo
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Norway
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 130 minutes
  • Producer: Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B. Kvae
  • Screenplay: Harald Rosenløw Eeg, Jan Trygve Røyneland
  • Cinematographers: John Christian Rosenlund
  • Editors: Einar Egeland
  • Music: Johan Söderqvist
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Official Oscar Submission 2017 (Foreign Language Film); Motion Picture Sound Editors 2017
  • Filmography: 1,000 Times Good Night (2013); Troubled Water (2008); Hawaii, Oslo (2004)
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Beta Cinema