Winner of the Academy Award for Best Music, The Marco Effect is a smart, stylish and highly enjoyable film from Denmark. After Denmark has been invaded by Germany, the government orders the closing of all remaining underground churches, as well as any other form of Christian activity. As such, the population is mostly composed of elderly people who have taken up residence in their neighborhood, which includes a number of gay Christians. When a Catholic priest (Christensen) comes out in public and starts to teach them Christian values, sparks of debate and controversy begin to fly.
Not only did The Marco Effect take its title from the original composition by Jon Landau, it also utilizes some well known songs from The Czech Republic, namely "Hvoriane", "Bravo" and" Bohumil". The first four tracks on the disc feature the original songs, while the last four are brand new. The songs are: "Das Dorma", "Apres la Plage", "Svjet", "Etnies van dem Bekkoek" and "Nie vraag".
The movie begins with a series of flashbacks introducing each of the main characters. The first four skip right ahead to the present, as we learn that Gypsies (or as they are officially known, Gypsies romantically known as Cohabites or Lepus Centaurus) were driven out of the country during the World War II. Now, they have migrated to Denmark and form a small community based mainly in the capital city of Copenhagen. The movie then goes back some years, as Gypsies are rounded up, incarcerated and subjected to the strictest forms of dress codes.
The central theme of the movie is the question of how the Gypsies were able to escape the concentration camps during the war, while at the same time arresting the German occupation and ensuring that the world's Jews would continue to live. The second half of the movie focuses on the trials the Gypsies must go through to prove that they deserve respect as equal citizens of Denmark. Aided by the committed and resourceful detective, the movie eventually makes its way to the last moments of the war, when the Gypsies rise above the barbed wire fence surrounding the camp and execute a massive attack on the camp guards while dressed in their most colorful ethnic costumes. The ending of The Marco Effect thus foreshadows the onset of the Cold War; in which Denmark once again finds herself under threat from the Axis powers.
Barbara Lipkien-Gershenbaum manages to weave an engaging story about the life of Gypsies in Denmark in the 1940s. The young, innocent girl who starts out as a lowly servant at the hall is soon empowered through her deep understanding of the cultural practices of the enclave and her spontaneous actions that are motivated by her desire to help the disadvantaged. It is her love for her native Denmark that motivates her to pursue her destiny and become a prominent figure in the international movement. The real strength of the character comes from her determination to free herself and her beloved Denmark from the grip of the Nazi regime and her unquenchable courage to see her mission through.
The Missing Persons Case is a smart film that explores many themes in a short period of time without going into any unnecessary melodrama. It is therefore a great watch for those looking for a light and entertaining film about the trials of adolescence and what can happen when we grow up too fast. The Missing Persons Case makes a smart choice as an animated feature, especially seeing as how such a gripping and timely story can be told by utilizing animation. The Marco Effect will undoubtedly be able to bring fans of the novel and trailer excited for the next instalment in Barbara Lipkien-Gerschenbacher's highly successful career. We look forward to see more from The Missing Person's Case, which is likely to arrive in 2021.