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Just the Right Amount of Violence

Documentary Film
80 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jon Bang Carlsen, Helle Ulsteen
Jon Bang Carlsen
Nathan Larson
Jon Bang Carlsen
Rikke Selin, Morten Giese, Hilda Rasula
Jon Bang Carlsen
Jess Wolfsberg
This could be Hollywood: two cops storm a house at dawn, drag a teenager out of his bedroom, pack him into their car, and drive off with him through the endless American landscape. An attempted escape, a chase, and the drive ends in a reform camp for unruly children in the middle of the desert. – This is Hollywood. At the foot of the mountain that bears the famous letters, Jon Bang Carlsen, known for his constant exploration of documentary reality and its constructedness, sets out in search of a dream that is ceaselessly being generated here: the happy family. Laughing children and caring parents – an image we all carry in our hearts and chase after eternally.
It’s the search for his own lost father that he condenses into a great essay about love, responsibility, and morals in this film. The statements of a young man who went through the merciless “intervention”, reports of officers of the “intervention team”, and personal reflections are counteracted by images of the clean suburban middle-class America. This is about a view of the world: if you don’t obey the “laws” (whose?) you will be punished – whether children by their parents or other nations by Uncle Sam. The dream of a perfect world that can be created this way is nothing but a fiction – which is why Carlsen goes far beyond the boundaries of the documentary once more.

Grit Lemke