Daniel Dencik plans his first dramatic feature about slave trade
Likely controversial project is about slave trading Danish officer in the 1830s.
Award winning writer, editor and director Daniel Dencik, whose feature doc The Expedition To The End Of The World is the Closing Gala at CPH DOX in Copenhagen this weekend, is hatching his first dramatic feature.
The project, which he is also writing, promises to be highly controversial. Wulff (as it is currently called) will lift the lid on the illegal Danish involvement in the slave trade in the Nineteenth Century. The director is touting the project as a Danish period answer to Apocalypse Now or a riposte to Heart Of Darkness.
“No-one really knows it here. It’s like a secret,” Dencik commented of the Danish record in the slave trade and how it has been suppressed. “We’re not taught it in school.”
Dencik’s script is based on his own original research at the Royal Library. He found letters from a young officer called Wulff who travelled to Danish Guinea in the 1830s to oversee the slave business. This was a period when Great Britain was already abolishing slavery.
“The Danish mentality is that we abolished slavery, that we are so good and that we are such a small country with Hans Christian Andersen,” the director noted. “It is not true. We were one of the major players in slavery…Denmark has a wrong picture of itself. Denmark was a really big, important and hostile nation.”
Dencik is currently applying to the Danish Film Institute for development funding for the film.
While working on his dramatic project, Dencik is also hatching a new documentary. This will be a portrait of Tal R, the leading Danish contemporary artist. The artist was part of the team on the three mast schooner sailing to North East Greenland for Expedition To The End Of The World. Sales agents are circling the doc, which is screening at CPH DOX as a work in progress prior to its likely official premiere at an international festival early in the New Year. The film is executive produced by Janus Metz (Armadillo) and produced by Michael Haslund-Christensen.
Here at CPH:DOX, the prolific Dencik is also presenting another feature doc, Moon Rider. Sold by Level K, this is a portrait of brilliant young Danish cyclist Rasmus Quaades.
Dencik, a published poet as well as a filmmaker and novelist, trained as an editor. His editing credits include Icelandic director Dagur Kari’s Noi The Albino (2003) and Dark Horse (2005).