Oscar Winner Anders Walter Directs WWII Refugee Drama

Oscar winning director Anders Walter is set to begin work on his debut Danish feature Befrielsen (The Liberation), which will explore a dark and forgotten chapter under German occupation towards the end of World War II.

In the last days of World War II, Nazi Germany lay in ruins and Denmark was forced to accept 250,000 German refugees who flocked to the country from February to May 1945. After five years of occupation and war, conditions were far from ideal so approximately 13,000 refugees died in the first months after arrival, partly due to a lack of medical care from both the Danes and Germans.

Anders Walter said: “Both in the Danish resistance and the population at large, there was great reluctance towards the German refugees, and those who provided assistance to the refugees could risk harassment and accusations of treason. This puts the main characters in Befrielsen in a fierce ethical dilemma as to whether they should help their enemies.”

Although Befrielsen is Anders Walter’s first Danish feature, he won an Oscar for his short film Helium in 2014 and debuted as a feature film director in America with I Kill Giants in 2017.

Befrielsen will begin filming on Funen in 2021.