Note: IN YOUR HANDS is a certified Dogme 95 film and is presented in the 1:375:1 aspect ratio. To find out more about the fascinating Dogme 95 movement, click here.
“It’s unusual to see issues of faith and religious belief dealt with so engagingly on screen, and Olesen’s direction ensures that your attention is held from the start.” — View London
Anna (Ann Eleonora Jørgensen, ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS) has just been hired as the chaplain at a women’s prison. Inexperienced but compassionate and energetic, she begins to feel her way amongst the prisoners. Soon, new prisoner Kate (Trine Dyrholm, THE CELEBRATION) is transferred to the cell block and causes a stir. Marion (Sonja Richter, OPEN HEARTS), a junkie, has heard that Kate helped another prisoner get clean and goes to her when her fellow prisoner and dealer, Jossi (Sarah Boberg), cuts her off. Marion kicks heroin, and believes that the introspective Kate has healed her. When Anna gets wind of this, she goes to see Kate, but Kate doesn’t want to talk to her. She’s even a bit hostile, telling Anna to look after herself and the baby in her belly. Anna believes herself infertile after fruitlessly trying to have a child with her loving husband Frank (Lars Ranthe). She’s shocked to discover that she is actually pregnant, but her joy turns to dismay when she learns that the fetus may have a serious birth defect. Meanwhile, Henrik (Nicolaj Kopernikus), a mild-mannered guard, finds himself increasingly drawn to Kate, to the point of putting his job in jeopardy, while the ruthless Jossi, losing business, feels threatened by the strange new inmate.
Writer/director Annette K. Olesen and co-writer Kim Fupz Aakeson made IN YOUR HANDS in the Dogme style, shooting on video at Nyborg State Prison. And in true Dogme fashion, the extraordinary acting performances highlight an intensely powerful story, an exploration of faith and the thin, permeable barrier between good and bad in all humans.
About Director Annette K. Olesen
Born in Copenhagen in 1965, Annette K. Olesen graduated from the Danish school of cinema in 1991. She directed several commercials, short films and documentaries which were widely awarded through festivals. Olesen’s feature debut was MINOR MISHAPS (2002), a sharp, gallows-humorous family drama created using the so-called “Mike Leigh method,” in which the script is built on the actors’ improvisation. The film was selected for the competition at the Berlin Festival, where it won the Blue Angel Award.
Next, her Dogme movie IN YOUR HANDS (2004), showcasing two distinctive female portraits, was shown at the Berlin Festival. It won numerous festival awards, including a Special Jury Award at the Spanish Valladolid Festival.
1:1 (2006) addresses the tensions between Native Danes and immigrant families in a conflict-affected neighborhood. LITTLE SOLDIER (2008) participated as the third of Olesen’s films in the Berlin Festival competition and won the festival’s ecumenical award.
Olesen’s first genre film, the thriller THE SHOOTER (2013), debates issues around terrorism and idealism. She has also directed four episodes of the television series BORGEN (2010) and was an episode director on BANKEROT (2014).
She has been a teacher at the Danish Film School and has also taught in the Netherlands, Norway, and Egypt.