Bleeder (film)

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DVD cover
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Produced by Nicolas Winding Refn
Henrik Danstrup
Thomas Falck
Written by Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring Kim Bodnia
Mads Mikkelsen
Zlatko Buric
Liv Corfixen
Music by Peter Peter
Peter Kyed
Povl Kristian
Cinematography Morten Søborg
Edited by Anne Østerud
Release date(s)
  • 6 August 1999 (1999-08-06)
Running time 98 minutes
Country Denmark
Language Danish

Bleeder is a Danish film from 1999, written, produced and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The film was a big hit in Denmark, much like Refn's previous film Pusher. The film stars many of the same actors as Pusher, but it is not a sequel.


The film follows the friends Leo and Lenny, who lives in Nørrebro, a working-class neighborhood in Copenhagen. Leo lives in a rundown apartment with his girlfriend Louise. Lenny is a shy and quiet film expert who works with his and Leo's mutual friend Kitjo, in a videostore that rents out art films as well as a huge collection of pornographic films.

As a subplot, we follow Lenny, who is trying to build a relationship to Lea, a girl that works in a local grill bar. Lenny asks Lea out to see a movie, but he chickens out when he sees her at the theatre. Lenny spends most of his time both at home and at work watching films.

When Leo finds out that Louise is pregnant and wants to keep the baby, he becomes more and more aggressive. After witnessing a beating at a club he gets himself a gun. During a normal film night, Leo pulls a gun on Lenny and Kitjo. Leo berrets Lenny for his life style, and expresses his disdain for his own life, feeling trapped in a dead end. Later Leo, in despair, hits Louise, and is threatened by her brother, Louis. When it happens again, Louise loses the baby. Louis takes a gruesome revenge by injecting HIV infected blood into Leo's body. Leo retaliates in an equally gruesome manner, shooting Louis in the stomach, then shooting off his own hand and letting the blood drip into Louis' wound. Leo then commits suicide.

Kitjo brings Lenny to Leo's funeral but Lenny can't bring himself to go. Life continues, and Lenny casually tells Kitjo that he has been offered a job in another store, but does not think he will accept as he has to change his routine. Lenny seeks up Lea again. They both seem shy towards each other, and have trouble communicating. Lenny asks Lea out a second time; the final image of the film shows them alone in the grillbar where Lea works thus ending the film on a hopeful note.


Bleeder features a relatively small ensemble cast, where the most of the actors, except Liv Corfixen and Rikke Louise Andersson, previously starred in Refn's debut film Pusher. Levino Jensen only had a small role in Pusher, his role in Bleeder is more developed. Strangely, all of the lead roles have names beginning with L, except for Buric's role, Kitjo.


Music is used heavily throughout the entire film. The soundtrack features many Danish artists, including Peter Peter, Jesper Binzer, Lovebites and Düreforsög.

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