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Every Monday the Journey with Jesus posts a new essay based upon the Biblical Lectionary, a film review, a book review, and a poem or prayer.

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The Journey with Jesus: Film Reviews

Film Reviews by Dan Clendenin

In a Better World (2010) — DenmarkIn a Better World (2010) — Denmark

In a Better World won the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, but that hasn't prevented a number of negative reviews by critics. There are so many different story lines going on that it's not clear exactly what Danish director Susanne Bier had in mind. Third world poverty in Africa, where Anton is a doctor in a refugee camp? Violence back in affluent Denmark, where Anton's son is bullied? This much is clear: two families randomly collide in ways they could not have imagined. All six characters in these two families have their own set of problems, so any one of them might have been the focus of the film, but that's not what you get. Two sons and two fathers work out deep emotional traumas that are rooted in their troubled family matrices. Everyone struggles with the dark impulses of internalized loss, fear, rage and revenge. In English, Danish and some Swedish, with English sub-titles.