Thomas Vinterberg’s The Commune

The Commune’s spatial setting is the ideal stage for Thomas Vinterberg to continue his exploration of division and unity. It is a theme he investigated to masterful and provocative affect in The Hunt – evoking a simultaneous empathy for the community and the accused. Here he exhibits less provocative gamesmanship, offering a more emotionally passive story of husband Erik (Ulrich Thomsen) and wife Anna’s (Trine Dyrholm) decision to turn his childhood home into a commune.
Vinterberg exhibits a simple aesthetic with musical interludes that serve to capture the spirit of the film. There is a trust that the ideas behind the drama will resonate: it’s about the consequence of choices, the evolution of a marriage and the need to belong to a collective versus the human need for intimate one-on-one relationships.
The ebb and flow of Erik and Anna’s journey amidst scenes of implosion and resolution sees the celebrated filmmaker not only play the dramatist but also show an appreciation for the quieter emotional resolution of everyday lives.

Paul Risker

1. Thomas Vinterberg The Commune(2016).