Synopsis by Nathan Southern
In 1981, Danish director Nils Malmros (Barbara) created one of the most acclaimed of all Scandinavian motion pictures - the beautifully wrought, observant and autobiographical coming-of-age saga Tree of Knowledge, which Roger Ebert hailed as one of the finest films ever made about adolescence. That outing dramatized the coming-of-age of a group of prepubescent boys and girls in mid-late 1950s Denmark, and Malmros cast it with nonprofessionals whom he worked with over a period of years, imparting the drama with a documentary-like realism. Created twenty-eight years later, Kærestesorger constitutes not a sequel to the earlier film per se but a long-delayed follow-up. Like its predecessor, it also dramatizes the coming-of-age of Danish adolescents - the same generation at a slightly later point in life and a later point in time; the central characters here are experiencing early high school life at Viborg Cathedral School for three years in the early 1960s. Malmros pays particularly close attention to a high school couple Agnete and Jonas, who experience the emotional vicissitudes of a teenage romantic relationship while their friends Liselotte, Toke and Birger go through their own conflicts and struggles, experiencing the joys and sorrows of love, fidelity, betrayal and emotional confusion.