The Best Foreign Film winner at this year's Oscars - In A Better World - is definitely a film to mull over. At its heart is the question of justice versus revenge and follows the story of two Danish families who become linked through the friendship of two of their sons.
Christian has just lost his mother to cancer and has a strained relationship with his father. He's just moved back to Denmark to live with his Grandmother as his father frequently travels for work. Elias's parents are getting a divorce. His father Anton also works abroad for spells as a doctor in an African refugee camp.
Elias is bullied at school but Christian, the new kid, steps in to help giving the ring leader a savage beating and threatening him with a knife. A firm friendship forms between the two. Elias's dad remonstrates the two boys saying that if you respond to violence with violence it solves nothing. While Christian continues in the belief that perpetrators of violence need to be taught a harsh lesson.
As the story unfolds the relationship between the two boys and their parents also come under the spotlight. Christian is aloof and full of anger, while Elias is caught between his pacifist upbringing and the success of Christian's more violent solutions.
It is a film that is at times is amusing, extremely tense and starkly relevant. It is also quietly challenging. Beautifully shot, nicely paced and with some superb performances particularly from the young cast it is certainly a worthy winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar this year.