The Promised Land 2023 Parents Guide

The Promised Land (Danish: Bastarden, lit. ‘The Bastard’) is a 2023 epic historical drama film directed by Nikolaj Arcel, featuring a screenplay by Arcel and Anders Thomas Jensen. The film stars Mads Mikkelsen, Amanda Collin, and Simon Bennebjerg in lead roles, with Kristine Kujath Thorp, Gustav Lindh, Jakob Lohmann, Morten Hee Andersen, Magnus Krepper, and Felix Kramer in supporting roles. Adapted from Ida Jessen’s book “The Captain and Ann Barbara,” the film is a collaborative Danish-German-Swedish production.

The Promised Land is set to be released on Feb 2, 2024

Movie NameThe Promised Land
GenreHistory, Drama
RatingNot Yet
Original LanguageDanish
DirectorNikolaj Arcel
ProducerLouise Vesth
WriterAnders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel
Release Date (Theaters)Feb 2, 2024 (Limited)
Runtime2h 7m
DistributorMagnolia Pictures
Production CoZentropa Entertainment
Sound MixDolby Digital

The Promise Land Plot Summary

In the year 1755, Ludvig Kahlen, a destitute soldier with a burning ambition, arrives on the desolate Jutland heath. His sole purpose: was to heed the king’s call, cultivate the land, and carve out a destiny steeped in wealth and honor. Little does he know that the unforgiving terrain is not the only challenge he will face.

The oppressive ruler of the region, the formidable landowner Frederik De Schinkel, considers the heath his fiefdom and resents the encroachment of the king’s decree. As Kahlen begins his humble attempts at cultivation, tensions escalate. The clash between the ambitious soldier and the ruthless landowner becomes inevitable.

When De Schinkel’s serf flees with his wife, Ann Barbara, seeking refuge with Kahlen, a spark is ignited in the already smoldering conflict. De Schinkel, fueled by pride and fury, launches a campaign to drive Kahlen away, vowing to reclaim what he believes is rightfully his and exact an act of merciless revenge.

Undeterred, Kahlen stands firm, refusing to yield to the oppressive forces that seek to crush him. In this unequal battle for sovereignty over the heath, Kahlen not only risks his own life but also the fragile bonds forming around him. A makeshift family emerges, drawn together by shared hardship and a common goal of survival.

As the struggle intensifies, Kahlen’s resilience is put to the test. The heath becomes a battleground, echoing with the clash of wills, the cries of defiance, and the whispers of a community forged in adversity. The quest for wealth and honor transforms into a fight for freedom and justice, as Kahlen grapples not only with the physical challenges of the land but also with the moral complexities of his choices.

Heath of Defiance” is a tale of perseverance, camaraderie, and the indomitable spirit that rises in the face of oppression. Will Ludvig Kahlen’s determination be enough to secure a future on the unforgiving heat, or will the shadows of the past cast a darkness too profound to overcome?

The Promised Land 2023 Parents Guide

Violence: The film portrays intense scenes of conflict as Ludvig Kahlen, the protagonist, confronts the oppressive landowner Frederik De Schinkel. Expect physical altercations, a vengeful pursuit, and a palpable struggle for control over the heath. While not excessively graphic, some moments may be distressing, making it suitable for mature audiences.

Language: The film features mild to moderate language, employed in moments of heightened tension and confrontation. While not pervasive, it contributes to the authenticity of the characters’ emotions and conflicts.

Sexual Content: There are no explicit sexual scenes in the movie. However, the plot involves a character fleeing with his wife, and themes of relationships under stress are present. The focus is more on emotional intensity than explicit content.

Drug and Alcohol Use: A limited depiction of characters consuming alcohol is present. There is no explicit drug use portrayed in the film. These elements are presented contextually, contributing to the authenticity of the period and character dynamics.

Intensity: “Heath of Defiance” maintains a tense and dramatic atmosphere throughout. The struggle for survival and justice creates gripping moments that may be intense for some viewers. Emotional depth and character-driven narratives add to the overall impactful experience.

Recommendation: Given the intense themes and scenes of conflict, “Heath of Defiance” is recommended for mature audiences. Parental guidance is advised for younger viewers, as the film explores complex emotions and societal challenges within the historical context.

The Promise Land Movie Cast

  1. Mads Mikkelsen as Ludvig Kahlen
  2. Amanda Collin as Ann Barbara
  3. Simon Bennebjerg as Frederik de Schinkel
  4. Melina Hagberg as Anmai Mus
  5. Kristine Kujath Thorp as Edel Helene
  6. Gustav Lindh as Anton Eklund
  7. Morten Hee Andersen as Johannes Eriksen
  8. Thomas W. Gabrielsson as Bondo
  9. Magnus Krepper as Hector
  10. Søren Malling as Paulli
  11. Morten Burian as Lauenfeldt
  12. Jacob Lohmann as Trappaud
  13. Olaf Højgaard as Preisler
  14. Felix Kramer


In the year 1755, destitute soldier Ludvig Kahlen arrives on the desolate Jutland heath, aiming to heed the king’s call, cultivate the land, and build wealth and honor. He faces challenges from the oppressive landowner Frederik De Schinkel, leading to a clash that intensifies when De Schinkel’s serf seeks refuge with Kahlen. As tensions rise, the struggle becomes a battle for freedom and justice, testing Kahlen’s resilience and shaping an unconventional family bonded by hardship.

Key Points:

  1. Setting: 1755, Jutland heath.
  2. Protagonist: Ludvig Kahlen, a destitute soldier.
  3. Conflict: Kahlen vs. oppressive landowner De Schinkel.
  4. Plot Twist: De Schinkel’s serf seeks refuge with Kahlen.
  5. Themes: Struggle for freedom, justice, and survival.
  6. Family Dynamics: Makeshift family forms amidst adversity.
  7. Moral Dilemmas: Kahlen grapples with choices and moral complexities.
  8. Intensity: Tense and dramatic atmosphere throughout.
  9. Recommendation: Suitable for mature audiences due to intense themes and conflicts.
  10. Cast: Mads Mikkelsen as Ludvig Kahlen, Amanda Collin as Ann Barbara, and Simon Bennebjerg as Frederik de Schinkel, among others.