The Day Will Come(2016) Explained

.  Today I will explain to you a drama film from 2016, titled The Day Will Come.

Spoilers ahead! This article contains spoilers, Take Care!


In 1967, brothers Erik and Elmer Johansen are taken to Orphanage Godhavn, where they meet instructors Toft Lassen and Aksel, who send them directly to bed without even a proper welcome.   This all started a couple of days ago when the siblings were caught stealing magazines and even a telescope because Elmer was a fan of  space and wanted to follow the rocket landings.   The Child Welfare office reminded their widowed  mother, Moren, that talking to them wouldn’t cut it anymore. The boys were always skipping class and causing trouble, and Moren was always away working.
She didn’t make enough to provide them with a good life and wasn’t around to raise them,   so next time they heard of her having issues with  them, they would take her sons away from her.   Sadly, this didn’t take long to happen: Moren had  a breakdown and was sent to the hospital, where   she was diagnosed with cancer. Uncle Onkel tried  to request the custody of the boys, but he had no   permanent residence and his latest income had been three months ago, so Child Welfare decided to send   the brothers to a prestigious orphanage. Back to the present, the boys are experiencing their first   morning in Godhavn.
Everyone wakes up at the same  time to be sent to the mess hall, where they can’t   sit and eat until they’re told to do so. Silent  must be kept during the whole meal. Meanwhile, new   teacher Lilian Hammershøj is being shown around  by the principal Frederik Heck, who informs her   that while he knows physical punishment has been  banned by the law, they still use it in Godhavn,   and Lilian is free to use it too, but it isn’t  her style.

Afterward, they go to the mess hall,   where all the boys welcome her in perfect  synchronization. Frederik approaches the   brothers to meet them, and after learning their  names, he asks what they want for the future.   When Elmer says he wants to be an astronaut,  he gets slapped for impertinence. All the boys   in the orphanage must work, so Frederik assigns  the brothers to stone-dragging duty at the dike.
Erik protests, explaining Elder has a clubfoot  that hurts if he carries heavy things, but that   also earns him a slap. Later, the boys are allowed  to take a break from stone-dragging to have lunch,   which is only a small tray everyone fights over.  The brothers barely get to grab some scraps, but   at least they finally get to chat with the other  boys, giving them the chance to properly meet   Tøger and his friends. It’s Tøger that advises  them to lay low and pretend to be ghosts, that   way they won’t get attention or be punished.
It’s  just a matter of waiting until they turn fifteen,   which is when they’re given the “eternity  note”, a permission to leave for good.   Their chat is interrupted by a group of bullies,  who ask for cigarettes or food, and beat up the   brothers when they have nothing to offer. Elmer  is sent up the water tank, but he freezes midway   because he’s scared, which causes the bullies to  make fun and throw stones at a future astronaut   that is afraid of heights. Later that evening,  the brothers try to escape and even manage to   reach the road, where they’re picked up by a van,  only to be taken back to the orphanage.
Everyone   in town is scared of Godhavn, so they don’t dare  do anything against their principal’s wishes.   As punishment for escaping, Frederik allows every  boy in the orphanage to take a turn at slapping   both brothers. Lilian sees what’s going on, but  isn’t capable of doing anything about it except   taking care of their wounds afterward. When they  go to bed, Erik convinces Elmer to be a ghost from   now on.
Weeks pass and the brothers do their best  to get used to the routine, but it isn’t easy.   Elmer keeps falling asleep in class and his  clubfoot hurts every day. When Erik finds   some chocolate in the trash and gives it to him to  help with the pain, Elmer decides to share it with   Tøger and his friends, gaining their trust. They  also begin noticing how during the nights Aksel is   on watch duty, he would take a boy with him to his  room.
One morning, Toft discovers Elmer has wetted   the bed. As punishment, he’s sent to stand on a  bucket outside while only wearing his underpants   and holding the wet sheets. He must stand there  until the sheet dries, freezing his bones.

Afterward, he’s sent to the doctor, who declares  him healthy except for the clubfoot and the   urination problem, so he gives two pills to deal  with it. The bullies started to ask them for more   things for being a “peeboy”, so the other boys,  feeling grateful for the chocolate, share some   cigarettes with them to get the bullies off their  backs. But the urination problem won’t go away,   even when they increase the dose – in fact, it  makes Elmer dizzy and sleepy. After he falls   asleep during class multiple times, Lilian checks  his notebook and notices Elmer hasn’t been taking   notes.
She also notices he has a second notebook  where he has written personal things she believes   he copied from some book. When he denies it, she  makes him read it for the whole class, making   her realize this is some sort of diary where he  talks about what’s happening to him but twisted   into a poetic fantasy of being an astronaut.  This turns out to be a good thing for Elmer:   now that Lilian -who is in charge of sorting  the orphanage’s mail- has seen what he can do,   she takes the opportunity to name him the mailboy,  in charge of picking up the mailbag in town and   bringing it to her so they can sort it together  while they read the newspaper and listen to music.   Now he has a task to keep him busy and his  mind sharp, Elmer doesn’t wet his bed anymore.
It’s during one of these afternoons spent  together that he learns Lilian never got the   chance to marry and have kids, so after a failed  relationship, she decided to teach kids instead.   That same day the brothers also get a letter from  their mother, who tells them she’s undergoing   special treatment and their uncle is taking  care of her. When they ask Tøger what he got,   he tosses his letter at them, explaining his  father writes exactly the same thing every year.   He even recites it as Elmer reads, knowing it’s  just excuses for why he won’t visit on Christmas,   but what hurts him the most is that his  father never takes at least a second to   tell him about his sister.
Taking pity on  him, Elmer tells him this time there’s a   P.S. and right there on the spot, he begins  inventing an anecdote of Tøger’s family,   including the sister saying she misses him. Tøger  knows Elmer is lying and there isn’t such a note,   but he still thanks him for it since he found  the story very comforting.
From that day on,   every boy takes their letters to Elmer to get a  nicer version of the words from home, finding hope   in his stories. One night, Aksel chooses Elmer as  his next victim. Erik sees this and tries to offer   himself in exchange for his brother, but Aksel  slaps him and sends him back to bed. Once they’re   in his room, Aksel tells a very scared Elmer to  do as he says if he doesn’t want Erik to suffer.
It isn’t until many hours later that Erik sees  Elmer again, finding him in the bathroom washing   off the blood dripping down his legs. Before he  can say anything, Elmer passes out on the floor.   The next day, Lilian attends a meeting with  the other instructors about it and is shocked   and disgusted to see their reactions to the  incident. They claim one of the older boys did   it because it’s natural to have needs when hitting  puberty, but if Elmer doesn’t give them any names,   there’s nothing they can do about it other than  to watch the boys more closely.
Lilian wants to   take Elmer to the hospital, but her request is  shut down, being told the orphanage’s doctor is   enough. She tries to talk to Elmer the next time  she sees him after class, but he’s too scared to   say anything, although Erik does tell her it  wasn’t a boy that hurt him. Many days later,   inspectors come to the orphanage to do a standard  inspection of the place. But since they’re told   in advance when they are coming, the boys are  put in their best clothes, and any bruises are   hidden under make-up.
The boys must tell they’re  happy if they don’t want to be punished later,   and the inspector sees them work in the carpentry  workshop, which is supposed to prepare them for   the future but they’re actually doing it only  today as part of the act for the government.   When Erik sees Aksel take Elmer to a side office  in the workshop to give him a gift in exchange for   his silence, he looks at the saw and gets an idea.  After Elmer leaves, Aksel comes back to keep on   working and loses his fingers to the saw thanks  to Erik having turned off the safety mechanism.   Aksel is sent to the hospital for a few weeks,  and now the boys will be safe from his abuse,   at least for a while.
Frederik is suspicious of  Erik, but he has no proof to do anything about it,   and that drives him mad. Later during dinner,  Erik receives a call from his uncle to tell him   Moren has died. He goes back to the table shaking  and crying, and when Elmer hears the news too,   he makes a scene as he tries to process his grief.  Frederik slaps them both for misbehaving and even   pushes Erik’s face against his plate, but since  not even his anger will make the boys stop crying,   it makes him frustrated, so he leaves.
Lilian  takes the chance he isn’t there to comfort the   brothers. The next day, they’re visited by their  uncle, who tells them how their mother was put   down to stop her suffering, but he is still not  allowed to take the boys because of his lack of   income. The siblings convince him to help them  escape and agree to meet near the road in the   middle of the night, but before Onkel leaves,  Frederik talks to him. He points out all the   ways his life isn’t made for children and how life  in the orphanage is a better option, especially so   they can be trained for the future.
This gives  Onkel a lot to think about, so when night falls,   instead of picking up the kids, he calls Lilian  and tells her he’s sorry but he won’t be going.   Lilian tries to pass the message to the brothers,  but she’s intercepted by Frederik, who makes her   confess what she’s doing in the boys’ room so late  at night. Erik and Elmer are caught before they   can even leave the area and are given a beating  for it, Frederik even tells them it was Lilian   that sold them out. Furious, Erik tries to jump  on her, but the instructors grab him and take   him to the basement.
She tries to apologize to  Elmer, who has lost all trust in her and tells   her he’s glad she never had children. Lilian slaps  him for it, and when she notices what she’s done,   she realizes this place is greatly affecting her,  so she quits the next morning at the same time   Aksel makes his return. From then on, the brothers  truly become ghosts. In 1969, Gert Hartmann, a new   inspector, comes unannounced to the orphanage to  make sure everything is fine before Frederik gets   a Knight’s Cross for his almost fifty years of  service.
Frederik isn’t happy to see him because   he didn’t have time to hide all evidence, but he  can’t kick them without looking bad on the report.   Hartmann notices some irregularities, like  the small number of bathrooms for such a big   group of children, but his main concern is the  bruises he finds on the kids. All of them lie   and say they got them from falling or playing,  and nobody wants to speak to Hartmann in private   when he offers them that option. The inspector  isn’t satisfied with this result, but he has no   evidence of anything, so he leaves without a word.
In a few weeks, Erik will be turning fifteen and   will be finally able to leave, so he’s planning to  ask Frederik to let him take his brother with him.   He’s such in a good mood for getting the Knight’s  Cross that he allows the boys to watch the moon   landing on tv if they finish some special tasks  – Elmer is sent to work on building a terrace,   and Erik will wash Frederik’s car. Some hours  later, while everyone is inside watching Armstrong   say his famous words, Erik is finishing washing  the car, which earns him praise from Frederik.   Erik takes this chance to ask for his brother  to leave with him when he turns fifteen,   but Frederik has some news for him: he’s starting  an apprenticeship department in the orphanage,   so now the boys must stay until they turn  eighteen.
This makes Erik furious because   it means he’s behaving for nothing, so he starts  scratching the car. After the broadcast is over,   Elmer goes looking for his brother, but  he only finds blood drops on the car.   Frederik has beaten him up so badly that  he almost dies, and after three days,   he still hasn’t woken up. They won’t allow Elmer  to see him except for a quick peek at the door,   but he still sneaks inside when no adults are  around.
He almost gets caught by Frederik and   the doctor, but he hides under the bed just in  time to hear them talk. The doctor can’t help Erik   any longer, he needs to be taken to the hospital,  but Frederik refuses and accepts to let God decide   what happens to the boy. Later, Elmer goes to see  Frederik to ask for a day’s leave. He’s decided   he wants to be a mailman and wants to visit the  mail and telegraph museum to learn more about it.
Frederik is pleased to hear he’s dropped the  astronaut nonsense and is aiming for a proper job,   so to reward his good behavior, he allows him to  have that break and even gives him a coin to get   some ice cream. Once he gets to the city, Elmer  uses that coin to call Lilian after finding her   number on the phone book. After telling him she  isn’t working with kids anymore and now teaches   other teachers at college, she accepts to take him  to the Child Welfare office, where they wait for   Hartmann for six hours. It seems he isn’t coming  back soon, so another inspector takes their case,   but all he can do is file a report because  they haven’t brought any evidence with them.
Elmer returns to the orphanage determined to  take the matter into his own hands. Tøger and   his friends are also trying to plan something to  help Erik, but Elmer tells them to wait for him   outside while he visits Aksel. He convinces the  man that he’s there to spend the night together,   so while Aksel is distracted, Elmer steals his  keys and locks him up in his room. After visiting   Erik to say goodbye just in case something happens  to him, he makes an astronaut costume out of a box   and foil paper, then takes a hammer and takes it  outside to start destroying Frederik’s car while   the other boys cheer for him.
The instructors find  him and Toft begins beating him up while Frederik   takes a call from the inspector’s office,  telling him about the report they received   earlier. Catching on Elmer’s plan, Frederik stops  the punishment so he doesn’t get any more bruises   that could incriminate him. Now they’ve let go  of him, Elmer runs away and overcomes his fear in   order to climb up the water tank only to jump off  it while pretending to be a floating astronaut.   Inspector Hartmann and Lilian arrive just in time  to see this happen, and Erik wakes up the moment   his brother hits the ground.
Both siblings are  taken to the hospital and watched over by Lilian,   who is relieved to hear from the doctor that it  will take a while for them to recover but they’ll   survive. Many days later, when they’re feeling  better, Lilian takes Elmer to the orphanage,   where he asks Frederik for his and Erik’s eternity  notes. Since the inspectors are there doing a   thorough investigation, Frederik has no choice  but to give Elmer the notes without protest.   Elmer says goodbye to all the boys before leaving.
Encouraged by his bravery, the next time Hartmann   asks them if they want to tell him anything,  Tøger raises his hand, and all the other boys   soon do the same. As Lilian leaves with their  brothers in the car, they see Tøger running   after them to wave at them, the only way he can  show his gratitude for what Elmer’s accomplished.

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