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Election Night (1998)

Valgaften (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Comedy | 1998 (Denmark)
On his way to the polls, an idealist, yet absent-minded voter has to endure continuous waves of racist cab drivers and their offensive remarks.

Writer:

Anders Thomas Jensen (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ulrich Thomsen ... Peter
Jens Jørn Spottag ... Carl
John Martinus John Martinus ... Taxi Driver 2
Ole Thestrup Ole Thestrup ... Taxi Driver 1
Farshad Kholghi Farshad Kholghi ... Taxi Driver 3 (as Farshad Kholgi)
Hella Joof ... Woman
Mikkel Vadsholt Mikkel Vadsholt ... Bartender
Nicolas Bro ... Man
Thomas Milton Walther Thomas Milton Walther ... Taxi Driver 4
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Storyline

On election night we meet Peter, an idealistic young man, who suddenly discovers he has forgotten to vote. On his way to the polls he encounters a variety of taxi drivers, all racist in their way and Peter has to decide whether to stand up for his convictions or getting to the polls on time. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Denmark

Language:

Danish

Release Date:

1998 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Election Night See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

M&M Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Don't Fence Me In
Written by Robert H. Fletcher (as Robert Fletcher) and Cole Porter
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
See more »

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User Reviews

A darkly comic short that makes interesting points on a complex issue
30 July 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

It is election night in Denmark and the polls are close to closing. With a busy day behind him sending off blankets to war-torn countries, Peter has completely forgotten to vote and, being a very socially conscious citizen he sets out to try and get to the polls before they close. However he abandons his first taxi after he encounters racist views that he does not want to hear – but then he doesn't have a great deal of luck trying anything else.

This is a great little short film that deals with a complex and difficult issue – racism, or rather the way we have of looking at people differently on the basis of their skin colour or ethnic origin. In a way I'm sure this film is more meaningful in Denmark than it is in other places because many films will capture the spirit of the nation as well as wider issues (many good British plays etc are very much set in the British experience) but I still got something from this despite not being a Dane! The film starts us off with a clear cut case of racism – few of us would support the taxi driver's views. However it then gets progressively more subtle and wide spread until Peter himself reveals himself to see others differently ('I doing it for you people' he tells the black employee). At this point we realize the point of the film – what is racism? What is acceptable forms of it and don't we all, regardless of colour, treat people a bit differently based on colour, dress, class etc?

The film does not propose to answer these questions or offer solutions but rather just challenges us and leaves us to make our own minds up. In this way I appreciated it – it ends with a comic moment as Peter just slumps into accepting the world for what it is, but this is a mature way to leave it, not banging a drum but simply putting this situation out there and letting us see it for the complex issue that it is.

A great short that is simple but very well written. The cast deliver their characters well but it is the steps down in behaviour that compares and contrasts 'racist' behaviour where it succeeds in showing us how complex the issue is and how wide spread it is, even if we don't see it we all do view others differently depending on their jobs, their race, their accent, their intelligence, their colour, their class, their clothes etc. That the film offers no solutions to this is not a failing – it is responsible and respectful.


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