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17–28 JUNE 2020
  • Director

    Lars von Trier

  • Starring

    Michael Elphick, Esmond Knight, Me Me Lai, Jerold Wells, Ahmed El Shenawi

  • Certificate


  • Run Time

    104 mins

  • Release Year


  • Country of Origin


  • Language

    English, Arabic

  • Director of Photography: Tom Elling

  • Editor: Tómas Gislason

  • Produced by: Per Holst

  • Music: Bo Holten

  • Screenplay by: Lars von Trier, Niels Vørsel

  • Production Designer: Peter Hølmark

The Element of Crime

Part of the Retrospective: The Future Is History Strand


The first instalment of his Europa trilogy, also including Epidemic (1987) and Europa (1991), Lars von Trier’s atmospheric feature debut The Element of Crime follows an unconventional detective, played by veteran British actor Michael Elphick, as he hunts a serial killer through a dystopian post-World War III Europe. Shot with sodium lighting creating a sepia-like tone, Von Trier’s dark, dream-like vision of the future is a hybrid of film noir, psychological thriller and science fiction, with influences including Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979).

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