Welcome to this special screening of Lene Berg's critically acclaimed film False Belief (2019). The film is based on autobiographical events and reconstructs the filmmaker's Kafkaesque journey through the American criminal justice system after her partner gets arrested, put on trial and eventually imprisoned for no reason.
The screening will be introduced by social anthropologist and research librarian at the National Library of Norway Michelle A. Tisdel.
About the film
False Belief is the story of a couple getting entangled in the gentrification of a New York neighbourhood, where the original residents are about to be evicted. In 2008, Norwegian artist Lene Berg moves in with her partner D, a black publisher, in Harlem. After making a report to the police that he has been harassed by a neighbour, D himself gets arrested. But for what? This incident marks the start of a dangerous journey where D's belief in the justice system makes him a hostage in the hands of institutions he thought would defend him. But what is D's conviction based on? Is he an everyday hero or an idiot who has not understood the rules of the game? Doesn't he know that thousands of black men are sent to jail in the United States daily for insignificant violations? How could he think his experience would be any different?
With the help of D's candid story, accompanied by a rich visual material consisting of both moving and still images, collages and cardboard figures, court documents and Berg's own words, the film attempts to create meaning in an absurd course of events - a course that will eventually have very serious consequences for the couple. By examining what may seem like a small and isolated case, False Belief provides insight into how police and prosecutors are actively used as weapons against minorities and dissidents in a country that claims to be the latter's foremost defender.
False Belief had its world premiere in the "Forum Expanded" program at the International Film Festival in Berlin in 2019 and is supported by, among others, Kunstnernes Hus, Henie Onstad Art Center, Sørnorsk Film Center and the Norwegian Film Institute.
About the filmmaker
Lene Berg (b. 1965 in Oslo) studied film at the Dramatic Institute in Stockholm. In 1997, she directed the feature film En Kvinnas Huvud (A Woman's Head). Berg has since worked with a variety of formats and produced works for galleries, museums and public spaces. She has directed a number of short films in addition to the feature films Kopfkino (2012) and The Gompen Report and other reports of surveillance in Norway 1948-1989 (2014), two films that stem from her interest in individuals and groups breaking with political and social norms.
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