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.
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.