IN A BETTER WORLD
Dynamic Drama from Denmark
Release Date: April 01, 2011
Starring: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine
Dyrholm, William Johnk
Nielsen, Markus Rygaard,
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 113 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics/Sony
Director: Susanne Bier
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Sisse Graum Jorgensen
Writer: Anders Thomas Jensen
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Screen Gems/Affirm Films)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000; Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
The story begins in Africa, where Anton, a doctor, works part-time as a surgeon and general practitioner for poor refugees living in a tent city. There, Anton learns about an evil warlord who cuts open the stomachs of pregnant women to win bets on what sex the baby is.
Back home in Denmark, bullies pick on Anton’s 10-year-old son, Elias. Elias is defended by Christian, a new boy who’s still very angry about his mother’s recent death from cancer.
Elias and Christian form a strong bond, but Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge when Anton, back in Denmark, refuses to stand up to an adult bully. Meanwhile, during one of his trips to Africa, Anton is forced to question his own pacifism, not to mention his oath as a doctor, when the evil African warlord shows up with a life-threatening leg wound.
IN A BETTER WORLD takes a hot liberal topic – bullying – and turns it into a thoughtful, emotionally powerful story about human nature when it’s confronted with true human evil, brutal violence, revenge, and modern civilization’s ideas about justice. Ultimately, it’s a very redemptive, but provocative, movie that provides some redemptive answers to the moral dilemmas it raises. At the same time, the filmmakers aren’t afraid to include more ambiguous content that makes viewers think more carefully about what to do when confronted by true evil, arrogance and brutality. In the end, Christian learns that it’s possible to go too far while Anton learns that, sometimes, justice demands a violent, albeit imperfect and unsettling, punishment for unrepentant people who keep committing really horrible, truly evil acts. The movie also shows that the pacifist answers modern civilization tends to give don’t necessarily help either the bully or his victims. Another good thing about IN A BETTER WORLD is positive parental role models. Anton is especially admirable.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for some strong foul language and some gruesome scenes of violence in Africa. Also, Christian’s angry solutions to bullies are disturbing, though he eventually is taught better ways to deal with his feelings.
IN A BETTER WORLD takes a hot liberal topic – bullying – and turns it into a powerful story about human nature when it’s confronted by human evil, brutal violence and revenge. The movie presents some redemptive answers but also shows that justice carried out by humans is seldom perfect. There’s plenty of strong foul language and some gruesome images of violence, so extreme caution is warranted.