Archive of films Chinaman / Kinamand

Denmark / China
2005, 88 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2005

A true melodrama relating what happens when a 45-year-old Dane, whose wife has left him, accepts an offer from the owner of a Chinese bistro to marry his younger sister when deportation threatens.


After 25 years of marriage, plumber Keld’s wife decides to leave him as she’s fed up with the lethargy of his body and soul. The tight-lipped man suddenly finds himself faced with a difficult task — to overcome the apathy that has thoroughly taken over his deserted apartment. Chance leads him to a Chinese bistro where he gets to know the owner, Feng, and his extensive family. A few weeks later, his new friend Feng asks Keld to perform a service for which he will receive fitting financial compensation: marry Feng’s younger sister and thereby allow her to remain in Denmark. Today, the word ‘melodrama’ sounds rather old-fashioned, but Henrik Ruben Genz’s second feature proves that the genre can be successfully employed without resorting to soul-wrenching histrionics. The narration’s subtle and suggestive execution is aided by the taciturn intensity of the main stars’ performances. Keld’s disarming emotional ineptness is in quiet harmony with the charming frailty of the Chinese woman, played by Vivian Wu, star of Greenaway’s The Pillow Book.

About the director

Henrik Ruben Genz (b. 1959, Gram, Denmark) graduated in 1995 from the National Film School of Denmark. In that same year, Cross Roads (Omveje) won Best Film and Screenplay at the Munich International Film School Festival. Of his documentaries and short dramatic films the most successful has been Theis & Nico (Bror, min bror, 1998), which brought him an Oscar nomination and a Glass Bear at Berlin. Genz’s first feature, Someone Like Hodder (En som Hodder, 2003) was honoured by the juries of several festivals, including Chicago, London, Poznań and Zlín.


Danish Film Institute
Gothersgade 55, 1123, Copenhagen
Tel: +45 337 434 00
Fax: +45 337 434 01

Nordisk Film International Sales
Mosedalvej 14, 2500, Valby
Tel: +45 331 882 00
Fax: +45 331 895 50

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Henrik Ruben Genz
Screenplay: Kim Fupz Aakeson
Dir. of Photography: Sebastian Makker Blenkov
Music: Gisle Kverndokk
Editor: Mette Zeruneith
Producer: Thomas Gammeltoft
Production: Fine & Mellow Productions A/S
Cast: Bjarne Henriksen, Vivian Wu, Lin Kun Wu, Paw Henriksen, Charlotte Fich
Contact: Danish Film Institute, Nordisk Film International Sales


Christian Juhl Lemche

Film Institution Rep.

Klaus Rasmussen

Sales Agent

Bjarne Henriksen


Thomas Gammeltoft


Hanne Skjodt

Film Institution Rep.

Lin Kun Wu



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