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Film / Silent Nights

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Silent Nights is a 2016 short film (30 minutes) from Denmark, directed by Aske Bang.

It's a love story between an idealistic Danish woman and an undocumented Ghanaian immigrant. Kwame is the immigrant, who entered Denmark illegally to earn money for his family, but has failed to do so, and has been reduced to sleeping in the streets. That's how he first meets Inger, the Danish woman who volunteers at a Salvation Army shelter.

Inger befriends Kwame after coming to his rescue when three men were beating him up in the park for no particular reason. She gets him a job helping out at the shelter, and soon, they are lovers; he does not mention his wife and three children back in Ghana. Further complications ensue, like one of Kwame's children falling seriously ill, and the presence of Inger's racist drunk of a mother.



  • Amusement Park: Kwame and Inger go to an amusement park, the Tivoli, for their first date. At the end we see that she has kept the photo from their amusement park ride, as a memento.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kwame and Inger are parted forever, but he is reunited with his family and she'll raise his baby.
  • Call-Back: In one scene Inger tries to rouse her alcoholic mother because it's 3 pm, only to find that Mom has soiled herself. Towards the end Inger tries to rouse her mom at 2 pm, but this time Mom isn't passed out with drink, she's dead.
  • Citizenship Marriage: The generous-to-a-fault Inger offers this to keep Kwame in Denmark. Even though she's clearly head over heels for him, she even offers it no strings attached, saying "You don't have to love me. I just want to do it for you."
  • Fan Disservice: Inger stripping clothes off her still drunk mom and shoving Mom into the shower after finding that Mom pooped the bed.
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  • Flames of Love: Naturally there are candles everywhere when Kwame and Inger make love for the first time.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Inger does not seem to have a paying job; she says explicitly that her Salvation Army work is volunteer. She can still afford a Copenhagen apartment.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Does Inger abort the baby from the man who knocked her up and then left Denmark, never to see her again? Nope! At the end she's going to an obstetrician and getting an ultrasound.
  • Headbutt of Love: Kwame and Inger do this during their amusement park date. Sex follows.
  • Lady Drunk: Inger's mother. Inger sometimes has to drag her drunk mom home from bars. At other times Mom is so drunk she soils herself in bed. In a sober moment she apologizes for her behavior.
  • New Year Has Come: Kwame and Inger share a romantic New Year, watching the Queen's address before seeing fireworks at midnight.
  • Racist Grandma: Inger's mom. When told that Inger is working at the Salvation Army she says "Isn't that where all those n***s are?" When presented with Kwame as Inger's new boyfriend Mom recoils with disgust, and Inger throws her out of the apartment. This behavior seems to be related to her drinking, as later, when she's sober, Mom apologizes.
  • Starbucks Skin Scale: Three black men who aren't even all that light-skinned mock Kwame, saying "He looks like a piece of coal!" Then they beat him up and steal his phone.
  • Stock Footage: Opens with a clip of African boat people trying to make it to Europe, to illustrate how Kwame came to be in Denmark.
  • Titled After the Song: Titled after "Silent Night" obviously, in a title meant to evoke loneliness over the holidays (the short is set around Christmas and New Year's).