"The Day Will Come" (2016) is a Danish drama directed by Jesper W. Nielsen and written by Søren Sveistrup, a figure well-known within the realm of Nordic Noir for his creation of the acclaimed TV series "The Killing". Despite its historical and socially-conscious narrative, the film retains many of the hallmarks of the Nordic Noir genre.
The film takes place in the 1960s and focuses on two brothers, Elmer and Erik, who are removed from their home and sent to a boys' home named 'Godhavn'. Once there, they become victims of a cruel and brutal system that aims to dehumanize them. The boys, however, dream of escaping and making it back home.
What makes this film a part of the Nordic Noir canon is its moody atmosphere, stark visual style, and its exploration of dark societal issues. The film is set against a backdrop of rural Denmark, and the cinematic use of landscape, an essential aspect of Nordic Noir, is evident. This harsh yet beautiful setting amplifies the grim reality of the boys' situation, creating a hauntingly tragic aesthetic.
Nielsen's direction, combined with Sveistrup's compelling storytelling, results in a narrative where the suspense and mystery are replaced by a chilling inevitability. The tension is built not around 'whodunit' but instead around the struggle and survival of the young protagonists against an oppressive system.
The characters of Erik and Elmer embody the Nordic Noir theme of ordinary individuals faced with extraordinary circumstances. They are ordinary children thrust into a horrifying situation, and their battle against the system is both heart-wrenching and inspiring.
In summary, "The Day Will Come" may not follow the traditional crime or detective narrative common in Nordic Noir, but it shares many of the genre's defining characteristics: a dark, moody atmosphere, deeply flawed and struggling characters, and an exploration of societal issues against a bleak yet stunning landscape.