In a Better World - Review

In a Better World, Mikael Persbrandt | FACING CONFLICT Mikael Persbrandt and Trine Dyrholm star in In A Better World

This year's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film (In a Better World) is a fine example of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier's (Brothers) talent for weaving together accessible domestic melodrama and issues of ethical awareness of the world beyond our doorstep. Swedish star Mikael Persbrandt plays a humanitarian doctor who devotes himself to practicing medicine in an African refugee camp, a despairing witness to the ravages of brutal tribal revenge. He later returns home to Denmark to find that his sensitive son has fallen under the sway of a well-mannered little school friend mourning the death of his mother by acting out his own darker impulses. Bier's inviting film asks but doesn't answer: Is the male urge for violence innate? Is it passed from father to son? And if it is, how can we teach our children well? B+ 

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