Epidemic (1987)

16mm film, 35mm film

A Danish science fiction film directed by Lars von Trier.

Plot Summary

A film director and scriptwriter are working on a script about an epidemic that is destroying the world, oblivious to the fact that the events of their story really are actually happening to the world outside.


Directed by: Lars von Trier
© Elementfilm 1987
Elementfilm A/S in collaboration with Danske Filminstitut
Produced by: Jacob Eriksen
Producer for Danske Filminstitut: Claes Kastholm Hansen
Production Manager (35mm): Per Årman
Screenplay: Lars von Trier, Niels Vørsel
Assistant (35mm): Thomas Gammeltoft
Director of Photography (35mm): Henning Bendtsen
Photography (16mm): Kristoffer Nyholm, Lars von Trier, Niels Vørsel, Cæcilia Holbek, Susanne Ottensen
Assistant Camera (35mm): Jesper Find
Gaffer: Leif Barney Fick, Søren Danielsen
Lighting Assistant: Thomas Gammeltoft
Key Grip: Leif Barney Fick, Søren Danielsen
Grips: Søren Danielsen, Leif Barney Fick
Lab: Johan Ankerstjerne A/S
Editors: Lars von Trier, Thomas Krag
Colour Timer: Michael Frank Nielsen
Music: Peter Bach
Orchestra: Aske Jacoby, Frank Strangerup, Klaus Menzer, Jens Haack
Music Recorded at: Finn Bjerre Studio
Post Production Sound: Peter Engleson, Thomas Krag, Niels Vørsel
Sound Mixing: Easy Film
Extras Costumes (35mm): Manon Rasmussen
Make Up Artists: Bibbi Bergholdt, Søren Hedegaard
Special Effects: Søren Gam Henriksen
Production Designer: Søren G. Henriksen
Art Director (35mm): Peter Grant
Stage Manager: Peter Grant
The Producers Would Like to Thank: City Foto Sats; Danske Filmstudie; Fogdal Biler; Københavns Kommunehospital; Ame du Vin; Leif Magnusson; Rigsarkivet; Rigshospitalet

Susanne Ottesen (Susanne)
Allan De Wall
Ole Ernst
Michael Gelting
Colin Gilder
Svend Ali Hamann (himself. hypnotist)
Ib Hansen
Anja Hemmingsen
Kirsten Hemmingsen
Cæcilia Holbek
Gert Holbek
Udo Kier (Udo)
Jørgen Christian Krüff
Jan Kornum Larsen
Claes Kastholm Hansen (Claes)
Joergen Christian Krueff
Gitte Lind (Gitte)
Leif Magnusson
Gunner Ottesen
Lennart Pasborg
Leif Sabro
Tony Shine
Michael Simpson (cabbie/priest)
Mik Skov
Thorkild Toennesen
Olaf Ussing
Niels Vørsel
Lars von Trier (himself/Dr Mesmer)

Alternative Titles

Epidemia – Finland

Sequel to
Forbrydelsens element (1984)

Europa (1991)

Extracts included in
Anecdotes from Epidemic (2005)
Bendtsen (2005)
From Dreyer to von Trier: An Interview with Cinematographer Henning (2005)
Lars von Trier Anecdotes (2005)
I Lars von Triers rige (1999)
The Making of Europa (1991)
Portræt af: Lars von Trier (1991)
Tranceformer: A Portrait of Lars von Trier (1997)
Triers element (1991)



  • Empire no.187 (January 2005) p.196 – DVD review (Region 1: Round-up)
  • Empire no.195 (September 2005) p.154 – illustrated dvd review (RWD: Lars von Trier's E-Trilogy by Damon Wise)
  • Film Comment vol.31 no.6 (November/December 1995) pp.40-47 – illustrated review (Wetlands: The kingdom of Lars von Trier by Howard Hampton)
  • Film International vol.4 no.1 (2006 p.11 – illustrated dvd review (A fistful of DVDs: Trier versus Trier by Michael Tapper)
  • Positif no.334 (December 1988) pp.29-32 – illustrated article/interview (Lars Von Trier by Françoise Audé, Michel Ciment and Philippe Rouyer)
  • Première December 1988 p.19 – review (by Thierry Decourcelle)
  • Scandinavian Film News vol.6 no.2 (May 1986) p.4 (Sweden) – credits
  • Sight & Sound vol.15 no.11 (November 2005) p.86 – illustrated dvd review (DVD of the month: Lars von Trier's E-Trilogy by Matthew Leyland)
  • Variety 29 April 1987 p.20 – note


  • Svenska Dagbladet 1 September 2000 – review (En pusselbit för cineasten by Astrid Söderbergh Widding)


  • Science Fiction så in i Norden by Peter Öberg p.31 – illustrated credits, synopsis