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Queen of Hearts

May el-Toukhy
Denmark, Sweden 2019 / 127’
Mirai Roma

Danish director May el-Toukhy’s Queen of Hearts, winner of an Audience Award at the Sundance Festival, is a provocative, captivating and dark tale that raises the sort of questions that have been troubling the world in the #metoo era—only to find ambivalent answers. This fascinating melodrama reverses the roles: the seducer is a mature woman, while the seduced is a 17-year-old boy. They fall into a trap of lust, pride and lies. Anne (Trine Dyrholm) is a respected lawyer who helps underage victims of sexual assault. Her husband, Peter, is a highly regarded doctor. Their lofty economic, professional and social status allows them to lead a comfortable life on an elegant estate. One day, Gustav—Peter’s rebellious teenage son from his first marriage—shows up at their home. His presence awakens in Anne dormant desires fueled by glances, gestures and casual contact. Is it worth risking everything for a forbidden relationship offering a moment of erotic fulfillment? The film enables us to look at lust from a feminine point of view and, thanks to Dyrholm’s bold performance, to experience its intensity.

Marcin Pieńkowski


Sundance FF 2019 – Audience Award; Göteborg FF 2019 – Audience Award

May el-Toukhy

May el-Toukhy was born in 1977 into a Danish-Egyptian family in Copenhagen. She is a graduate of both the Danish National School of Performing Arts and the National Film School of Denmark. She has worked in theater and directed radio plays and episodes of the award-winning television series The Legacy and Ride Upon the Storm for DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation). Her first feature film, Long Story Short, was acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. The film was made in collaboration with producer Caroline Blanco and screenwriter Maren Louise Käehne. Together with Trine Dyrholm, who also appeared in that film, all four decided to continue their collaboration on Queen of Hearts

Selected filmography

2015 Lang historie kort / Long Story Short

2019 Królowa Kier / Dronningen / Queen of Hearts

Cast & Crew

director May el-Toukhy
screenplay Maren Louise Käehne, May el-Toukhy
cinematography Jasper Spanning
editing Rasmus Stensgaard Madsen
cast Trine Dyrholm, Gustav Lindh, Magnus Krepper
producer Caroline Blanco, Rene Ezra
production Nordisk Film Production, Det Danske Filminstitut, Svenska Filminstitutet (SFI)
Polish distributor Gutek Film
language Danish, Swedish
colouration colour