In A Better World | Johan Söderqvist
Danish director Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning drama – scripted by Anders Thomas Jensen with whom she previously worked on the Oscar-nominated After the Wedding – is a powerful meditation on societal violence and injustice as seen through the friendship of two young boys and the struggles and travails of their parents, one of whom works as a doctor at a Sudanese refugee camp.
An effulgent layering of strings, bells and percussion provide the building blocks for the film’s underlying musical motifs by composer Johan Söderqvist (Kon-Tiki), another returning Bier collaborator from After the Wedding. Tracks like “To Denmark,” “The Idiot,” “To Homecamp” and “Elias Says No” evoke the anxiety, uncertainty and a curious sense of inner comfort that appears to bond the film’s otherwise emotionally damaged characters. Bells retreat from the orchestration at key points in such tracks as “Anton’s Alone,” “The Fireworks,” “After the Call” and “The Bomb” while traditional Middle Eastern chant is invoked in two key Sudanese moments with “Trying to Save Her” and “The Revenge.”
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