Eksperimentet (2010) Movie Script

The Danish colony of Greenland is
isolated from Denmark during WW2.
The first Danes to return
to Greenland after the war -
- are shocked
by the appalling conditions.
The population faces extreme poverty
and severe tuberculosis epidemics.
The UN criticizes Denmark; if
Denmark can't lift the responsibility -
- countries such as
the United States are ready -
- to take over the large island,
full of natural resources.
So Denmark sets out to modernize
and "Danify" Greenland.
Denmark wants to prove to the world -
- that the country can lift Greenland
into the modern world.
And do so expeditiously, too.
The supreme authority in Greenland
is the Governor -
- a Danish official
appointed by the Danish government.
- Miss Gertsen, come in.
- Governor.
- Sit down.
- Thank you.
Jorgen Mgller,
the Department of Greenland Affairs.
Mr. Mgller has come all the way from
Denmark to inspect things up here.
Tell Mr. Mgller about yourself.
My name is Rigmor Gertsen.
I'm a qualified nurse.
I've lived in Greenland for 12 years,
these past 2 in Godthab.
- Do you speak the language?
- Greenlandic?
I can make myself understood.
- Family? Husband? Children?
- I'm a nurse.
But that doesn't make you a nun.
You were put into foster care
at the age of nine. Is that correct?
Excuse me, sir,
but what is this all about?
It's all about role models.
Our goal is, in a year or two -
- to make Greenland an equal part
of the Danish kingdom.
One country. One people.
One language.
Take a look at this.
A year ago we selected 22 children
from deprived Greenlandic families.
Some of them orphans.
They were sent to Denmark and put
into the care of good Danish families.
They've learnt Danish. Six have been
adopted by their Danish families.
This is an experiment.
They are to be the backbone
of the new Greenlandic school system.
They are going to spread the
Danish language and culture here.
They are to be role models.
That's the plan.
The aim is to see if the children are
at all receptive to modern matters.
In four months they will return
after a year and a half in Denmark.
We're opening a children's home
for them here in Godthab -
- where they will be raised
under good and healthy conditions.
They are to be educated. These
children are the future of Greenland.
We'd like you to be the headmistress
of the children's home in Godthab.
We expect you to show commitment
and boundless loyalty to us.
If I can help Greenlandic children -
- and do my bit to lift this country
out of the Stone Age ...
I won't let you down.
Rigmor Gertsen?
Ellen Hggh, the children's governess.
If you go ahead,
I'll send the children along to you.
Don't dawdle.
Go on up to Miss Hggh.
Run along now.
Go up the stairs.
Don't just stand there.
Go on up the stairs.
Run along, children.
Are you Dorte's mother? Hello.
Dorte, say goodbye to your mother.
- No!
- Dorte, be a big girl now.
- No. Mummy ...
- Dorte, I'm not going to say it again.
- No!
- Let go of your mother and behave.
Children, pick up your suitcases
and line up in twos.
- Mummy!
- Get your suitcase.
Concentrate now,
and get in line, children. In twos.
Let's go.
Come along, children.
Children, take a seat.
I haven't give you permission
to eat, Daniel.
My name is Miss Gertsen.
You may call me Gert.
Welcome to Godthab.
You're here because you're special.
And here, I'm going to make sure
that you are fed and clothed.
Should you fall ill,
I'm going to nurse you back to health.
Many of you are acquainted
with illness.
Daniel, your parents died
from tuberculosis, didn't they?
Karen, so did your father.
Raise your hand, if you know
someone who died from tuberculosis.
Well, I am your new mother -
- and I've been looking forward
to your arrival.
My mother lives here in Godthab.
You may eat.
(Denmark's national anthem)
You must watch the hair pin.
When I hold it like this ...
When I hold it like this,
you must be quiet.
Thank you for this first day.
Now go to bed, shut your eyes -
- and think of something nice,
and you'll fall asleep at once.
Good night, children.
Good night, I said.
Be quiet, Dorte.
I've wet my bed.
Come here.
Do you think
we have to stay here for ever?
(Greenlandic lullaby)
I don't remember it anymore.
- May I sleep in your bed?
- Stop that.
You're not allowed in here.
Go back to bed.
Karen is gone.
Miss Gertsen!
Mr. Omann.
Karen, what have you been up to?
I found her in town.
Stop it, Karen.
Stop it right now!
Pardon me, please.
I want to talk to you tomorrow,
Miss Gertsen. Stop by at 11.
- Of course.
- So long.
Let me see the cut.
Sit still,
and it'll be over in no time.
You're allowed to cry.
The brown rabbit.
How do you pick it up?
It's so sweet.
"That's where all the nice children
lived." They lived in Denmark, see?
"They walked the red car all the way
to the big city of Copenhagen.
"What was going on?
There were flags everywhere."
"The five little negroes
had never seen so many flags."
- Come on, Daniel.
- Wait for me.
What are you doing here,
when you don't speak Greenlandic?
This country is Greenland.
- Karen, what do they want?
- I don't understand them.
Go back home to Denmark.
Sit down.
It makes for a bad impression -
- to have your children running
around half-naked in town.
It won't happen again.
Mr. Svendsen is here
in his capacity of headmaster.
Not many of the children have had
any schooling in Denmark.
- Am I right?
- Yes.
I've warned the governor against -
- entering children lacking the most
basic skills into a Danish school.
Neither the Danish children
nor yours will benefit from this.
We have to let them all
begin in the first form.
The children must attend forms
matching their age.
No preferential treatment.
That was the plan.
Mr. Omann, that is a very bad idea.
You can't pass judgment on children
you've never even met.
You should hear their Danish.
It's fluent.
The children must attend a Danish
school, as they've been promised.
The King and Queen are due here
in three months.
And Head of Department, Mr. Mgller.
He expects to see 16 well-functioning
children with good marks.
- And he will.
- If you're not up to the task, say so.
- For then I'll find your successor.
- That won't be necessary.
Let's give it a try then, Svendsen.
- Yes, let's give it a try.
- You are dismissed.
My name is Miss Gertsen.
I'm the headmistress
of the children's home.
My name is Ingrid.
I'm Dorte's mother.
- Is Dorte in there?
- She's in bed.
It's the first day of school
After the children have settled in,
we'll invite you in for coffee.
Have a nice evening.
Aren't there any nice,
young men around?
- I don't know.
- Don't you?
Don't you have dances here,
where you can meet someone?
- Where do you live?
- In Copenhagen.
Dorte, don't fiddle with your hair.
Line up in twos.
And off you go.
- Karen, wait.
- Come on. Just keep going.
Come along.
My name's Marianne. What's yours?
Do you understand me?
The holiday is over, so let's see
how much you've forgotten.
Who can name
the boroughs of Funen?
Stand up, when you're spoken to.
Well, Daniel?
You don't know either?
Well, sit down then.
Third time lucky, then.
- Odense.
- That's one.
No. Sit down.
Odense, Bogense, Middelfart, Assens.
Faborg, Svendborg,
Nyborg, Kerteminde.
That's more like it.
Well done, Marianne.
Take a deep breath.
Good. And again.
Look straight ahead.
Good. Turn around.
Turn around.
I just need to ...
According to his medical record,
he had a spot on his lung.
But there's nothing there now.
Has Daniel told Dr. Brandt
about our little night-time problem?
- Daniel wets his bed and doesn't tell.
- What a mess.
- I've stopped now.
- Let's try a bedwetter sheet.
We've got some at the hospital.
Jump onto the scales.
Marie, help me, please.
Look at the book, Daniel.
R-A-S, what does that spell?
You can do it.
Look at the book.
What's the ostrich's name?
Aren't you eager to see
how it ends, Daniel?
Aren't you embarrassed
that you can't read?
The children can't help it, if
they didn't go to school in Denmark.
They were offered the prospect of an
education. That was the whole point.
They're hopelessly behind.
Carry on.
Now, do you want me
to read the rest of the story?
- Look at that cake.
- Stop it.
You're smudging them.
We don't serve hot chocolate
in the little gilt demitasse.
- There aren't enough big ones.
- So wash them as we go along.
The gilt cups are for the Governor,
Danish guests and coffee. Okay?
Children, come here.
All of you ... Victoria.
Come, come, children.
Now, look at me.
The food is for the guests. You get
a bun each, after they've been served.
- Is my aunt coming?
- No, your aunt lives in Egedesminde.
Marie has invited all your relatives
here in Godth&b.
- My granddad doesn't speak Danish.
- You can still enjoy yourselves.
You're early.
Karen, what's the matter?
Welcome. I'm Miss Gertsen,
headmistress of the children's home.
- How do you do. I'm Karen's mother.
- I know.
Karen, come here.
Come on.
It's not like her to be shy.
- Come on.
- How do you do.
How do you do, Karen.
Would you like a cup of coffee?
I... Room.
Come. The animals.
Do you want to see the rabbits?
Sit down and behave yourself.
Who baked the cakes?
Did you help?
Are you doing well in school?
I don't understand you, Mum.
Your big brother Svend
sends his love.
Stop that right now.
Behave yourselves.
- Welcome.
- Thank you.
May I present Mr. Lynge,
member of the provincial council.
Another member of
the provincial council, Mr. Chemnitz.
- Mr. Svendsen.
- And the world press.
I know that face.
- How do you do, sir.
- How do you do, my dear.
- Have you stopped running away?
- Yes, sir.
Thank you.
Karen, how's school?
The children only remember
very few Greenlandic words.
The provincial council stipulated
that their mother tongue be protected.
Nobody's stolen their mother tongue.
- The children speak fluent Danish.
- Yes?
Isn't that what you wanted? One
country, one language, one people?
Their Danish class mates have
given them a splendid welcome.
Don't you agree, Mr. Svendsen?
Do they match
the Danish children academically?
- No. We Danes just don't do enough.
- Don't talk rubbish, Svendsen.
Let's not mourn
their lost language.
That's the whole point
of this exercise. Are we agreed?
Well, Dr. Brandt. Are you making sure
the children are healthy and fit?
Yes, indeed.
Let's take a picture.
Miss Gertsen, you as well.
Can you get a nice picture from there?
Come here, Miss Gertsen.
Don't be afraid.
- Smile, Karen.
- Splendid.
My mum's new husband
is a policeman.
And they're going to have a baby.
Gert promised I could go
to the hospital when it comes.
Did you know that, Karen?
Have you wet your bed?
Are you upset, Daniel?
When are we going back to Denmark?
Never. And you're not
allowed in here.
Don't wet your bed again, Daniel.
I miss my foster mum.
You'll soon discover,
Dr. Brandt -
- that people in Denmark
are drawing up guidelines -
- for a country they don't know.
As long as Denmark is willing to pay.
Oh no, not again.
- I'm trumped.
- I should've taken the trick.
Our little friend is back.
- Karen, why aren't you asleep?
- Daniel wet my bed.
There ... Go to bed.
Good night, Karen.
I don't cry.
- Pardon?
- I never cry.
Sleep tight.
Today you're doing your first test
this year.
Write your name
at the top of the paper.
There you are.
Your friends from the children's home
have never done a test before.
It's very straightforward. I say a
word, and you write it on the top line.
I say a new word, and you write it
on the next line, and so on.
The first word is "baker".
A baker bakes buns and bread.
Write "baker".
The next word is "Denmark".
Denmark is our native country.
Write "Denmark".
Karen, come here, please.
Come along.
This is Karen's test.
She made two errors.
That's the same as many of
your Danish class mates. Very good.
Sit down.
Straighten your backs
and carry on with your homework.
Good, children.
How can we improve their academic
skills? You must have an opinion.
They don't concentrate. It's as if they
don't have the capacity for diligence.
They must have extra tuition.
Here, every day after school
for four hours.
No preferential treatment, remember?
Nothing permanent. Just a few weeks
to teach them basic skills.
- The school can't pay for it.
- I'll pay.
The King and Queen are due
in two months -
- and I've promised to present able,
well-functioning children by that time.
mine's almost got a dress on.
- Don't bite.
- Now, now. You have to wear shoes.
- Can I try some of your clothes?
- You have to wear shoes.
Mine's in the dress.
How pretty you look.
Look, you have to wear shoes.
There's no room.
As you can see,
the room looks a bit different.
This is Mr. Heilmann. He's going
to tutor you every day after school.
No more playtime. After school
you have your extra tuition here -
- then it's suppertime, and then
you do your homework. Sit down.
Karen, come with me.
We'll leave the others to it.
Remember: If you do well in school,
you don't need extra tuition.
Straighten your backs, sit up
and look at Mr. Heilmann.
How do you do, children.
Tell me your names.
Now let's get you some clothes.
- What are you cutting out?
- Clothes for her.
For Princess Margrethe?
Remember when you came
one and a half months ago?
I'm much nicer now.
You know, my mother couldn't
keep me either, when I was a girl.
- Is that true?
- I wouldn't say it otherwise.
She couldn't take proper care
of me and my sister. We were poor.
I went to live with Mrs. Christensen
and stayed there -
- until I was old enough
to live by myself.
You should be proud of yourself,
I know what it's like not to be born
with a silver spoon in one's mouth.
- Here you are.
- Thank you.
There now.
Stop being sad, Dorte.
You must want to.
You have to make an effort.
May I hear you make an effort?
Shut your eyes.
I'd like to run a tuberculosis boat.
To sail around and cure tuberculosis.
We'd come to them,
so they didn't have to come here.
That's a good idea.
- Yes ...
- Tell Omann about it.
You have to leave
before they wake up.
You must.
Straighten your back.
In you go to Mr. Heilmann.
From 1670 to 1699,
King Christian 5th.
- Gert.
- Yes.
Can I go and see Marianne
from my class?
Yes, but be back
in time for supper.
Svend has caught his first seal.
Have you caught your first seal?
Where did you catch it?
What a big seal. We had better
invite people over for coffee.
Say hello to your dear brother Svend.
- Hello, Karen.
- Hello, Svend.
Karen, this is
my new husband Vittus.
Hello, Karen.
- Good boy.
- Let's move it.
Doesn't she have to go back
to the children's home now?
Does she know we're moving?
Do you want to help me?
Just to try it.
Not too close.
Mind your clothes.
And mind you don't
cut into the skin itself.
Go and sit down over there.
Sit down over there.
Gert, may we listen
to the radio tonight?
No, after supper you have to do
your homework, and then it's bedtime.
Excuse me.
Young lady, you were supposed
to be home ten minutes ago.
- I'm sorry.
- Sit down.
Dorte, look.
- My mum gave it to me.
- Yuck.
Come in.
- Miss Gertsen.
- Headmaster Svendsen.
- Governor.
- Sit down.
I'm considering
sending the children back home.
I have my doubts about
the success of this venture -
- and about your capability
to handle the children.
Svendsen says the children are
doing poorly in school.
Mr. Omann, I thought
the children were my responsibility.
You and your hurt feelings
aren't the issue here.
The children aren't the only initiative
requiring funds and attention.
- I can use the money elsewhere.
- But we can't let them down now.
- We aren't letting them down.
- Yes, we are.
You called it an experiment.
Don't stop it
just before it's put to the test.
Karen completed a near perfect test.
She's number two in her class.
Dorte is an average pupil,
so some of them are able.
Dr. Brandt says they're healthy,
well-functioning children.
Mr. Omann,
let the experiment continue.
Stand up straight.
Why do we have to do this?
It's embarrassing.
Now, now.
- Ready?
- Yes.
One, two, three.
We are born
to sun and summer
but akin
to wind and rain ...
In you go.
Have a nice day.
"Fall on your knees,
my rose."
"Fall on your knees,
my plum.
"Fall on your knees -
- my dearest rose and plum.
"Get up, my rose."
"Get up, my plum.
First I'll write:
To play. To run.
Who can think of a word
you can put "to" in front of?
I'll write some more examples.
To eat.
You've turned into an old lady, Karen.
Are you enjoying yourself?
Be on time from now on!
Sit down.
Turn to page 48, please.
Hurry up and find your seats,
children. Abel, sit down.
Daniel, come here.
What are you standing like that for?
Look at me.
- You have no right to punish him.
- He won't shirk school again.
His face will be swollen
for a long time.
We're not talking about a single day.
All teachers say the children from the
children's home are tired and slack.
- They did poorly in the last test.
- How did Karen do?
But she hasn't had extra tuition.
Let's move them down to the first form.
No preferential treatment, Svendsen.
Miss Gertsen.
We are seeing the results
of the experiment -
- and they may not be
what you were hoping for.
What were you hoping for, Svendsen?
You don't trust me. Let Heilmann give
them a test at the children's home -
- so that everything goes
according to your wishes.
- That won't be necessary.
- Oh, yes.
Accept the fact
that the children can't hack it.
You've given them
preferential treatment from day one.
You think you know it all.
You think that one and a half years in
Denmark makes the children Danish!
You think, if they can tell coffee and
chocolate cups apart, they're Danish.
You think you can create an isolated
dream world with you as the mother.
It's all a facade, Miss Gertsen!
The Danish-speaking Greenlander in
a suit is still a Greenlander inside.
The children are ready to go to bed.
Who can tell me why Dorte
and Daniel got into a fight?
- Dorte.
- Because I called Karen a toady.
Then Daniel hit me.
- Apologize to one another.
- I'm sorry, Dorte.
- Dorte?
- I'm sorry, Daniel.
Be quiet, children!
It's not nice to call each other names.
Particularly not Karen,
who's such a good girl.
Stand still.
Do you think I'm good at my job?
I talked to Omann.
He's going to give me the boat.
The tuberculosis boat.
If you hadn't told me to talk to him -
- it never would've come about.
Thank you.
Isn't it marvellous?
You're to write some words.
Words you know.
Words we've been over.
- Why isn't Karen doing the test?
- Be quiet, Dorte.
It's unfair
she never has to do what we do.
Concentrate on the test instead.
Karen cheats.
She copies Marianne in school.
- I do not!
- You do too. I've seen you.
- Is it true what Dorte says?
- No.
It's all because
Karen is your pet.
Come here.
Sit up here.
Do your best.
The first word is
for the youngest children over here.
The second is for the eldest children.
A bee flies from flower to flower.
Write "bee".
And for you: Copenhagen is the
capital of Denmark. "Copenhagen".
Come with me, please.
I've looked at your test.
You don't make that many errors
in school.
I do well in school.
- Why do you spell better in school?
- This test was hard.
No, it wasn't.
It was just like the others.
Why do you spell better in school?
I copied Marianne.
- I can't hear you.
- I copied Marianne.
With whom you share a desk?
- I beg your pardon?
- Yes.
Have you copied all the tests?
You may go now, Karen.
You do know there'll be no more
preferential treatment, don't you?
Do you understand?
Don't think you're special. You've
cheated your way to everything.
You've cheated me!
I thought you were good, but
you're just like the rest. No, worse!
You're just a measly copycat!
What kind of girl are you?
Don't think I'll ever forget this.
Get out! Get out!
What are you doing?
Now, eat. Here's some sugar.
- Say what you've learnt in school.
- What?
Some of the Danish words
you've learnt.
- Gilden ogle.
- What?
Gilden ogle.
It's called a golden eagle.
Say something else.
Say "marmelade".
- She shouldn't laugh at you, Svend.
- No.
- Hello.
- Hello.
I'm sorry. She was asleep
on the floor, when I woke up.
I was going to send her back,
as soon as she'd had breakfast.
Karen, come here.
We're moving to Sukkertoppen.
There's plenty of work there.
And then Karen will stop
coming here.
But will you tell Karen -
- that I don't want her
to run away again?
Your mother wants you to stop running
away from the children's home.
Get in.
I have to cancel the children's
performance for the King and Queen.
They can't hack it.
Their schooling is a failure,
and so is the entire experiment.
Otto, sit down. You too, Konrad.
Victoria, sit down.
They aren't role models. They don't
deserve to meet the King and Queen.
Do you remember your promise to me?
16 well-functioning children with
good marks. Those were your words.
- I was wrong.
- They will perform, Miss Gertsen.
I promised Mr. Mgller. Your children
aren't the only issue here.
Don't you talk to me about failures.
There will be consequences.
For me. For Greenland.
It's your responsibility, too,
to find a way out of this mess.
Of course, sir.
Sorry, Karen.
I didn't see you sitting there.
Who wants to sleep in my bed tonight?
Come along then.
Are you coming?
Kirsten's from Egedesminde.
Petrine Jakobsen.
Abel, Abel, Abel ...
Where's he?
- Abel is from Christianshab.
- Do you think they'll let you?
It was the Governor's idea
in the first place.
I think -
- if we send the children home
with a little bag of money -
- we can help their families
and give the children a future.
- But we don't have any money.
- We will have, if the home is closed.
There'll be lots of money left over.
I must write a letter
to Daniel's Danish foster mother.
Come in.
I've made a list
of the children's relations.
- It's possible to send them all back.
- Not now, Miss Gertsen.
I do realize it won't happen tomorrow,
but by Christmas, I'm sure.
- Take Dorte ...
- We can't send them back home now.
They don't speak Greenlandic and
won't get on in a Greenlandic school.
Pack all that away.
The children aren't going anywhere.
Don't bother. The Governor
and I are agreed on the matter.
Come in.
We're almost done.
The next lot we send to Denmark will
return to their original environment -
- as soon as they return to Greenland.
How many can we send this time?
Several thousands.
How long can they be away
without losing their mother tongue?
Three months, maybe a year.
- We'll just have to feel our way.
- But...
- What about my children?
- They're staying put.
We'll begin by moving them down,
as we should have done from the start.
- That's it?
- Yes!
So scrap your extra tuition,
and put your funds to better use.
Your adorable children
represent hope. A new age.
- You're covering up this failure?
- Shut up!
I won't fire you, because I don't give
a damn who looks after those children.
I just want clean children marching in
step through town, and that's your job.
Do I make myself clear?
Do I?
Gert. There's no need to call
the experiment a failure.
In many respects
the children are a success.
They're healthy and well-nourished -
- which is more than you can say
for the Greenlandic children.
Denmark needs good news
from up here.
I hope you have the sense to support
the children's home in public.
We hope to get more appropriations.
Please excuse us now, Miss Gertsen.
We have a few matters to deal with.
No pushing and shoving.
Make way for each other.
Your mum is moving away
without you.
Let's practice our bows
and our curtseys. On three.
Ready? One, two, three.
- Karen, stop it.
- Mummy!
Come here.
Stop it.
- Let go of me!
- Karen, stop it.
Let go of me!
Let go!
Your Majesties.
Good citizens of Godthab.
Ladies and gentlemen.
The new Greenland.
In Denmark I was born
tis where my home is
from there my roots
and there my world extend
you Danish tongue
as soft as Mother's voice is
with you my heartbeats
oh so sweetly blend ...
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