Denmark students document American cultural conflicts

by chris morrison

On March 12 the students from Nørre Gymnasium in Copenhagen, Denmark spent the day filming documentaries of Marshall and American culture. Each group of students focused on a different aspect to document in American culture.

“We were focusing on political stuff and gun laws,” student Ida’Marie Haeusler said.
Topics such as American politics and the current controversy over gun laws and school shootings were also documented by the students.

“In Denmark we hear about America as the place of school shootings so we wanted to hear about that,” student Patricia Van Overeem said.

Many of the students documented on the similarities and differences between both Danish and American cultures.

“We focused more on how Americans see Denmark and what they know about Denmark and some political stuff too,” student Helena Lautrup-Larsen said.

Each of the documentary teams got the opportunity to film in teachers’ classrooms as well as other locations such as the Marshall gymnasium.

“I think it’s fun that everyone is so interested in [the documentary]; people are like coming up and saying ‘hi’ and that’s nice,” Haeusler said.

Many of the documentaries included multiple interviews of Marshall students and faculty to help discuss the topic of the film.

“Americans are really open-minded and friendly so it was no problem someone we could film,” Lautrup-Larsen said.

IB Film Studies teacher Pierce Bello got the chance to have the students visit his film classes to get the opportunity to talk about American and Danish cultures in film.

“It was an enlightening experience. And when you have an opportunity like that you just can’t pass it up.” Bello said.

The students were saying that most American films are mainly seen as hero-centric and story-based with usually happy resolutions. “What was interesting for us to talk about, since we are studying Chapter 10: Ideology right now, is how are Danish movies different from American movies,” Bello said.