Sunday Movie: Across the Water ‘Fuglene over Sundet’

Family running through the woods

Ebenezer & the Seed Factory are delighted to present our first Sunday Movie of the New Year, ‘Across the Water,’ or Fuglene over Sundet, from Denmark.

Ebenezer is showing Fuglene over Sundet in partnership with the Seed Factory at the instigation of Ebenezer's landlady, Marie-Louise Chittenden: her father & her grandparents were part of the specific incident that this film so movingly and vividly recounts...

In 1943, because of the relatively light impress of the German occupation on their country, Danish Jews had believed themselves safe but then the Germans began rounding them up.

The movie details the flight of one family as they join a general exodus toward the boats taking Jews to Sweden. Sometimes the trawlermen sail for nothing, sometimes at a price which was often met by other Jews or sympathetic Danes. 95% of Danish Jews escaped in this way and it is one of the less appalling episodes in the sub-plots of the Holocaust.

Families carrying suitcases trough a field

The movie is low-key, human scale, focussing on characters making small decisions in familiar surroundings but under huge and sudden pressure. The tension is communicated extremely well and moves to a climax as many Jews group together at the bottleneck of the rural fishing ports and the Nazis, abetted by collaborators, attempt to close the escape route to Sweden. Their attention turns to a large gathered group of Jews who have huddled together under the protection of Danish villagers... one small boy among this group became many years later, our own Marie-Louise's father.

This film has had a low profile in this country but met with huge acclaim across the continent as you can see from the numerous five star ratings on the poster.

Joanie Gorman