Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian's mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy.Written by
Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Producer
The Danish title 'Hævnen' translates into English as 'Revenge'. Susanne Bier mentioned that she prefers the English title 'In a Better World' which emphasizes the hopefulness of the film while the Danish title emphasizes the severeness of the film (at 1:52:49 in the Blu-ray director's commentary). See more »
In the first minutes of the movie, the white T-Shirt that Anton (Mikael Persbrandt) is wearing during the surgery of the little girl gets blood stained (at around 24 mins). When finished and outside the tent, the stain is much smaller and misplaced (at around 20 mins). When leaving on the small truck, the blood stain has moved once more (at around 50 mins). See more »
[after testing some explosives]
Fuck! That was sick! Imagine if we use one of the big ones. His car will be blown to pieces.
That asshole, Lars.
You want to blow up his car?
Someone will find out. A car is really expensive.
Your dad will be pleased.
I'm not so sure.
Doesn't matter. No one will find out. Are you in or out?
I'm not sure...
[...] See more »
This isn't as much a great movie as a great experience
This movie is a far more direct and disturbing probe into some of our more troubling inclinations than anything I've seen since becoming a fan of Lars von Trier's movies. The topic here is vengeance and its consequences, more or less. I was a little surprised to find it had been directed by a woman, Susanne Bier. I've always thought women would be good at this kind of near melodrama but have never actually seen one tackle such a project, to my knowledge. The story centers around two boys and their developing reaction to first school house bullying, but then a much more serious instance of it in their home life. The acting is beautifully done and none of the leads seem to have held back in the slightest. One dad is a doctor who, it appears, donates his services to a part of Africa wrought with violence. Despite his obvious good nature, he and his wife, also a doctor, are having problems.
It's unusual in my experience to have a woman show just how much more selfless a man might be than his wife, but that is exactly what is done here. And it's quite refreshing. But the sweep and breadth of this movie is quite satisfying on its own, spanning from Africa to modern day Denmark. This is a trip I wouldn't hesitate recommending to anyone.
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