Based on legendary Danish writer Tove Ditlevsen's autobiographical novel of growing up during the Depression, this Danish screen milestone was directed with a sure hand by the veteran Astrid Henning-Jensen. Fourteen-year-old Ester (Sofie Gråbøll), a daydreamer whose ambition is to become a writer, finds all the material she needs crammed in with her family in a one-bedroom cold-water flat in the slums of Copenhagen's downtrodden but proud working-class neighborhood of Vesterbro. The co-director of the classic Child of Man (1946), Henning-Jensen brings the same kind of social realism to Bardommens Gade but occasionally tips the scale a bit too much in favor of nostalgia. Still, the well-acted film stands as one of the decade's more impressive undertakings.
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