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Just the Right Amount of Violence

2013 DOK Leipzig, International Competition Documentary Film
Denmark | 2013 | 80 min. | English | English subtitles | European Premiere
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Just the Right Amount of Violence | Just the Right Amount of Violence

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
Original Title: Just the Right Amount of Violence
Country: Denmark
Year: 2013
Language: English
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 80 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Jon Bang Carlsen
Producer: Jon Bang Carlsen, Helle Ulsteen
Cinematographer: Jon Bang Carlsen
Editor: Rikke Selin, Morten Giese, Hilda Rasula
Music: Nathan Larson
Sound: Jess Wolfsberg
Script: Jon Bang Carlsen
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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.