When Gustaf Munch-Petersen in the darkest hour of the night leaves his pregnant wife behind in order to participate in the Spanish Civil War, it becomes the start of a series of fatal events that was to affect his family throughout three generations. Today, 75 years after Gustaf’s misfortunate death, his grandson, Laurits Munch-Petersen, decides to start a quest of uncovering the truth about what happened in order to reunite his family, before it is too late.
The key to unravelling the mystery starts with Laurits’ grandmother, who after Gustaf’s disappearance distanced herself from the memory of him, by making him a taboo in their household. Later, she decided to shun Laurits’ mother and refused to have any contact with her daughter and her grandson.
If Laurits can get her to open up, then maybe there will be a chance of finding the truth and avoiding that the shadow, which has been brought upon the family, will be passed on the future generations.
The shadow of a Hero is a personal documentary by director Laurits Munch-Petersen about his family. His grandfather was the famous Danish surrealistic poet and painter Gustaf Munch-Petersen, who was shot, 26 years old, in the Spanish Civil War in 1938. And his mother, Ursula Munch-Petersen, is one of our time’s biggest Danish ceramicists.
Director: Laurits Munch-Petersen
Country: Denmark, 2015
Duration: 90 minutes
Original title: Skyggen af en Helt
Laurits Munch-Petersen is educated filmmaker from the Danish Film School in 2003, where his graduation film, the short BETWEEN US, became an international success and won him an Academy Award (Student Oscar) in 2004. His debut feature film THE AMBULANCE was released in 2005, and he has since directed several television shows and documentaries among these HURRY HOME (CPH:DOX 2009)