Cited by Stephen King as his favorite television series of the year, Denmark’s blockbuster political drama, Borgen (“The Castle”) explores the insular world of high-stakes Danish politics and the press corps that covers it in instantaneous, relentless news cycles. Birgitte Nyborg becomes Prime Minister of Denmark through a political fluke and has to learn the ways of power, quickly. She’s an altruistic public servant in an old boys club and must master the art of the deal overnight, manage her image and understand that she has advisors but no real friends. She also must perform the impossible juggling act of maintaining a family life while serving as Denmark’s first female Prime Minister. The rigors of public life and journalism may attract some of Denmark’s finest, but it also exacts a high price from them all for participating in an open democracy.
In this second season of Denmark’s blockbuster political drama, BORGEN, we continue to follow the country’s first female Prime Minister, Birgitte Nyborg, her cynical spin doctor, Kasper Juul, the ambitious journalist, Katrine Fønsmark and her more seasoned colleague, Hanne Holm. Birgitte has been Denmark’s Prime Minister for two years – years that have taken their toll on her private life. She must now balance her role of PM with that of divorced single mother of two. Politically, she has succeeded in earning the respect of her allies and enemies in Parliament, but tensions between parties are mounting. Denmark’s participation in international wars as well as certain central domestic policy issues are fracturing coalitions in Parliament, and forcing Birgitte to make increasingly questionable compromises. The building pressure causes her to doubt whether she can maintain both her position and her integrity. A castle (borgen) imprisons and excludes; it also protects. Borgen is the story of a castle that houses Parliament and a self-contained universe with its own laws and unwritten rules.
Borgen is a modern Danish political drama about the personal costs and struggles for those who climb to the top of the political and the news broadcasting worlds. In this third and final season of Borgen, Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is a very different person than the confident prime minister who spoke at the lectern in Parliament. She is no longer prime minister. It has been two and a half years since she called an election in which she failed to win the required number of seats to maintain the existing government. She has since left politics and is now a high-paid business consultant, serving on several corporate boards. During a canned speech in which she describes a government whose values she no longer recognizes, it becomes too much for her. She can no longer brush off the recurring question of what she would do if she were Prime Minister. Perhaps it’s time to get back in the game.
In Danish with English Subtitles