This article discusses the ending of the Danish Netflix film The Bombardment and will contain spoilers.
Ready Steady Cut film critic M.N. Miller calls The Bombardment “Haunting and visceral, Ole Bornedal’s beautifully shot film stays in your mind well after it’s over.”
The new Netflix war film chronicles one of the worst tragedies in Copenhagen’s history. The film may be so tragic the phrase “The spoils of war” might have been written about it. For historical context, on May 1st, 1945, three waves of fighter planes took off from Norfolk, England. There were 18 Mosquito bombers, and two of them only took photographs. Their mission was to destroy anti-aircraft batteries concentrated around the city. The Gestapo controls the town, and the Danish resistance is attacked. A number of that group are held in the attic of the Nazi headquarters and acted as a human shield.
The risk and reward outweighed the moral dilemma of killing imprisoned Danish citizens. Because of the low altitude and smoke from a shot-down plane that crashed in the city’s heart, assumptions about targets were made because of the lack of visibility. As a result, the French Roman Catholic school, Institut Jeanne D’Arc, destroyed 86 children.
Netflix film The Bombardment ending explained
Three children the film focuses on that attended the school are Rigmor, Eva, and Henry. Henry is Rigmor’s cousin. Eva is Rigmor’s friend. They are practicing for the school play under the tutelage of Sister Teresa (Fanny Bornedal). Rigmor is very fond of her. However, Eva skipped her breakfast this morning, and she goes to grab a snack but is followed by Henry.
That’s when the bombardment on the school started. They begin to walk out of the school. Eva walks away, down the street. Under an air raid, Henry runs back in the school. Their class is now taking the stairs down a stairwell and to the basement. Another explosion from an Allied bomb hits the school, causing damage. When Sister Teresa looks down the middle opening of the stairwell, she sees a bomb that has not detonated. She screams for everyone to get out of the stairwell and grabs two children, one of them Rigmor.
The survivors head to the basement, including Rigmor and Sister Teresa. They hear several bombs hit the school with dozens of children as they wait. Then, just when they think they may be safe, the roof caves in. Sister Teresa is alive and pinned under some rubble. She talks to Rigmor, who is stuck and is submerged in water from broken pipes. Helping rescue them is Frederik, a former SS officer in training who quits after meeting Teresa.
As he claws through the rubble and drags a hose to pump out the water, he helps move the rubble so she can move. However, he hasn’t seen her face yet. She turns off her back, looks below and sees the water has submerged everyone. There is little chance Rigmor is alive. That’s when she turns around, and they lock eyes. Frederik is in shock, and so is Teresa. She then dives in the water, head first to search for Rigmor (one could argue that she did because she feels Frederik may be the devil). Suddenly, the rest of the building caves in, killing them both.
Finally, Eva’s mother stops Henry and asks if he has seen a girl who fits Eva’s description. The mother doesn’t know Henry and Eva are friends! Henry tells her that he thinks she went home. In a long tracking shot, she runs to her house and finds her daughter, caked in that dust, eating a bowl of porridge.
What did you think of the ending of the new Netflix film The Bombardment? Comment below!