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Sons of Denmark

Ulaa Salim
Danmarks sønner
Denmark 2019 / 120’
Sacavém Synonyms

A year after a terrorist attack, the nationalists are the favorite to win the upcoming parliamentary elections. Leading the party is a Machiavellian populist named Martin Nordahl, who skillfully fuels anti-immigrant sentiment, while seeds of hatred quickly turn into acts of racist violence. It is in this stifling atmosphere that, Zakiri, a 19-year-old refugee from Iraq, is entering adulthood. Feeling under threat, he decides to join a movement of Arab radicals, where he meets the mysterious Ali, who fights for the soul of the sensitive boy. In his first full-length film, director Ulaa Salim, the son of Iraqi immigrants, speaks in a resounding voice about the racism of the Danes and strips the country’s capital of the myth of hygge. His Copenhagen is reminiscent of the city from Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher trilogy: it’s dark and claustrophobic, sparsely illuminated with disturbing neon lights, perfectly emphasizing the inner world of the film’s protagonists.

Bartosz Marzec


Riviera IFF 2019 – Jury Prize for Best Picture; Seattle IFF 2019 – Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director

Ulaa Salim

Ulaa Salim is a director and screenwriter. He graduated from Denmark’s National Film School, the alma mater of the creators of Dogme 95. He is the son of Iraqi immigrants, and his work often refers to his Arabic roots and the cultures of the Middle East. He founded the production company Hyæne Film together with his childhood friend, Daniel Mühlendorph. Sons of Denmark is both the company’s first production and Salim’s full-length debut. It was screened in the main competition at the last International Film Festival Rotterdam.


2016 Vore fædres sønner / Our Fathers' Sons (short)

2017 Fædreland (short)

2019 Synowie Danii / Danmarks sønner / Sons of Denmark

Cast & Crew

director Ulaa Salim
screenplay Ulaa Salim
cinematography Eddie Klint
editing Jenna Mangulad
music Lewand Othman
cast Mohammed Ismail Mohammed, Zaki Youssef, Rasmus Bjerg, Imad Abul-Foul, Morten Holst, Olaf Johannessen, Özlem Saglanmak
producer Daniel Mühlendorph
production Hyæne Film, Det Danske Filminstitut
sales New Europe Film Sales
language Danish, Arabic
colouration colour