The winner of the 2010 Academy Award for best foreign-language film, In a Better World, is an uneasy two-pronged story.
Directed by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, part of it involves Anton (Mikael Persbrandt), a Swedish doctor who works at a refugee camp in a North African country where some of his patients are victims of a ruthless warlord.
Meanwhile, his estranged wife, Marianne (Trine Dyrholm), lives with their two young sons in Denmark. The older son, Elias (Markus Rygaard), is continually bullied, but a new boy, Christian (William Jøhnk Nielsen), teaches him how to get even.
After some incidents, Anton tries to teach his son a peaceful way to deal with his problems. The parallels to what the doctor is trying to do in Africa — and its effectiveness — are then brought to the fore.
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The questions and issues Bier is addressing are worth pondering. The title itself suggests some irony, but there is little of that in this very serious film.
In a Better World retails for $45.99 on Blu-ray.