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In Love & War - Tom Wlaschiha: Gerhard

Movie locations in the Sønderborg-area

Photo: Fridthjof Film

Some of the large film productions within broadcasting television in Denmark is filmed at locations in our area. However, we have also been visited by foreign film crews amongst others from Swedish broadcasting SVT1 filming an episode of De första svenskarna (the first Sweden’s).

TV-drama series 1864

The focus was on the Sønderborg-area when the series 1864 was released. However, fact is that in spite of the actual war happened in our region, only one single scene is taken here. The scene with the school class on exhibition to Dybbøl Mill, were the Sky-lark delivers its song hovering high up in the sky, is taken at the mill – Denmark´s national symbol of bravery

During a visit to Sønderborg, film director Ole Bornedal meets a very nice local man at Dybbøl Mill. Whom doesn´t see any problems in digging up the whole area to shoot the war scenes used in the film series 1864. However, the area Dybbøl Banke is a monument and the war scenes were taken in the Czech Republic and the home scenes of the main characters were taken on island Funen.

TV-drama series 1864 is a production by Danish broadcasting television DR, directed by Ole Bornedal. The series, based on the book Slagtebænk Dybbøl (Slaughter bench Dybbøl) written by Tom Buk-Swienty, the costs of the production was approx. 170 million Danish crowns. The premiere on October 12 2014 was quite late in the year of the 150st anniversary of the war in 1864.

To the History Centre Dybbøl Banke, the 150st anniversary of the war upon Dybbøl Banke meant an increased visiting numbers by 70% during the summer 2014 and the series causes extra interest on this fateful event in Danish history. Visiting numbers boomed during the autumn holidays in October, increasing with 125% and instead of 500 visitors up to 2000 guests is registered at the weekend events “Winter on Dybbøl Banke”.


TV-series “Historien om Danmark” (the History about Denmark)

Second episode of the series by Danish broadcasting television DR1 is named Time of the Metal´s and is about the Bronze- and Iron Age (1700 BC to 750 AD). Tilia Alsie is a true copy of the Hjortspringboat (350 BC) and on a cold day in January 2017, she is launched at the bay Dyvig Bugt for the take of the introduction to part one in the series; showing the tradesman, Birk set out on sea with his merchandise. The episode is transmitted the same year on April 9th.


TV-series De första svenskarna – Sjökrigarna (the first Sweden´s – Sea warriors)

As a result, on the episode in “Historien om Danmark”, the people at “Hjortspringbådens Laug” receives a request from a broadcasting television company in Sweden. They need a boat for their second episode on De första svenskarna – April 27th Tilia Alsie is launched again for filming, however, this time she and her crew is featuring sea warriors in a war canoe. The episode is transmitted on SVT1 February 27th 2019.


Movie; In Love & War

This was much unexpected! Jens Frederik Heise deserted the fears of the battlefield under WW1 (1914-18) and goes in to hiding for 18 months, amongst other places on the loft of his and his wife Kathinka´s house in Skovbyballe on South-Als. Jens Frederik never tell anyone of this time in his life and when he passes in 1968 he is not expecting a novel based on his experiences in 1917-18 to be released. When writer Karsten Skov launch the novel “ Knacker” in 2013 he has not the faintest idea of his book inspiring to a movie production of approx. 42.5 million Danish crowns.

The Czech Republic is under fire. Like the TV-drama series, 1864 the war scenes are taken in the Czech Republic and some of the indoor scenes are taken on island Funen, However, most of the movie locations are found on Island Als. The main location is Havnbjerg Mill on North-Als, where the miller Esben is hiding on the loft of the connecting house.

Havnbjerg Church and the local priest Robert Landeværn Ryholt, is in some of the scenes. War material need good ore and one of the bells in Havnbjerg was among the 47 church bells confiscated in South Jutland and melted down under WW1. As a result, Havnbjerg Church owns a Reunification bell, which is also heard under the historic bell-ringing scene in the movie.

In the movie, we hear and see the bells of Havnbjerg Church and the takes is from that day, when all church bells in Denmark were ringing in 30 minutes on Prince Henrik´s passing. A coincidence yet a beautiful and well-meant little condolence. I Krig & Kærlighed – En bog om Filmen og 1. Verdenskrig (Danish book on the movie and WW1)

A pioneer location is situated in the forest Nørreskoven. The manuscript contains a scene, were Esben´s flight attempt over to Funen and Denmark is revealed by a ferryman, however during the search for a coastal housing Mia Hagner Fridtjof finds a photo of Taksensand Lighthouse at the coast of forest Nørreskoven. The lighthouse is very characteristic and an unusual event occurs within the history of filmmaking – a location changes the manuscript and a lighthouse keeper replaces the ferryman!

Do you remember the scene were Gerhard shoots Hansen in the woods – this is taken at the area of oak trees known as “Brudgomsegene” in forest Nørreskoven Als!

Other movie locations in our area is Augustenborg Palace and Palace Church, nature school Naturskolen Egetofte at forest Sønderskoven, the harbour kay at Sønderborg Castle and the inn Ballebro Færgekro.

The movie “In Love & War” is a co-operation across the Danish-German border and some of the scenes are from the house Eckener Haus and the street Oluf-Samsons-Gang in Flensburg, likewise we had a visit by steaming boat Alexandra from Flensburg for the shooting of the scenes at the harbour of Sønderborg.

German and Danish actors were casted for the movie, where both languages is used – even though some of the Danish actors’ neither spoke nor understood German.

In the main characters, you see the Danish actors´ Sebastian Jessen and Rosalinde Münster, as the married couple Esben and Kirstine. Tom Wlaschiha (known as Jagen H´ghar in Games of Thrones) as the German officer Gerhard and Thure Lindhardt in the roll as Hansen (Lindhardt is a Danish actor known from Angles and Demons, Fast and Furious 6 as well as The Last Kingdom, were he plays Guthred).

Movie; In Love & War - location at the harbour at Sønderborg Castle

Steaming boat Alexandra is based in Flensburg, Germany. Here seen as part of the location in the movie "In Love & War" and the taking of the scene where Esben and Jes is sailing home and arriving at Sønderborg Harbour.Photo:Fridthjof Film

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