Nordic Noir: The Documentary – The Rise of Scandi-Drama


The dark and complex Scandinavian crime stories that have collectively created the genre known as ‘Nordic Noir’ have transfixed UK audiences, both in book form and on the small and large screen, in a major way since Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy books were translated over here and Wallander first aired in its native Swedish language on BBC FOUR . Given a serious boost by the 2011 transmission of Forbrydelsen (The Killing), which became a huge cult TV hit, spawning a national knitwear revival and the rapid rise through the ranks of popular police characters, such as the socially-challenged Sarah Lund and Saga Noren it seems that Nordic Noir is forever here to stay.

These cerebrally enigmatic, and often troubled, protagonists – who are often as opaque as the plots they are investigating, have become the new law-enforcing heroes for a discerning demographic of crime drama enthusiasts and have brought many more like-minded sorts into the genre – people who might not have been previously inclined.

 Nordic Noir: The Documentary – The Rise of Scandi-Drama examines the popular fascination of Nordic crime fiction, TV drama and feature films.

Celebrating the cult phenomenon, and providing insight into this stylish brand of story-telling, fans and enthusiasts alike will be able to celebrate their love of all things Nordic with this new documentary. Those offering up  insights into bringing their characters to life Include Wallander’s Krister Henriksson, Borgen’s Sidse Babett Kundsen, The Killing’s Sofie Gråböl, The Bridge’s Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia, as well as Diane Kruger, Clemence Poesy, and Steve van Zandt.

 If that wasn’t enough, producers Lars Blomgren (The Bridge), Jane Featherstone (The Tunnel) Andy Harries (Wallander UK), Ole Sondberg (Wallander), Carolyn Bernstein (The Bridge USA), Piv Berndth (Borgen, The Killing), and Mikkel Bondesen (The Killing USA) are set to touch upon their geographical differences as they ultimately strive to tell the same story from an alternative cultural background.

The journey of the style and themes of the Noir concept can be mapped from the influence of European directors in Hollywood and the post-WWII anxieties that pervaded the classic crime sagas. Neo-Noir emulated the Film Noir style in a modern setting. Nordic Noir has taken on the reigns to redefine the grittier, controversial violence that Hollywood dared not show. And its popularity only seems set to grow.

NordicNoir: The Documentary – The Rise of Scandi-Drama will premiere on 3 October at SVT.