In a Better World is a 2010 Danish drama film directed by Susanne Bier and written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen. Its original Danish title is Hævnen, which means “The Revenge”. The film won a 2011 Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Film and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Anton (Mikael Persbrandt) 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 (Trine Dyrholm), who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias (Markus Rygaard) is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian (William Jøhnk Nielsen), a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus (Ulrich Thomsen). 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.