Dir: Annette K Olesen. Den. 2005. 90mins.
Annette K Olesen's follow-up to InYour Hands comes across as a passionate, socially concerned cri de coeur, albeit one executedin a sometimes laborious, over-familiar style.
Nevertheless,strong performances, a distinctive sense of place, and a bravado use of a realistvisual style - along with evident newsworthiness - should make this anappealing prospect for buyers and festivals.
The setting is aCopenhagen housing estate. The opening credits - the single most impressivepart of the film - montage archive footage, flashbacks and inserts ofarchitectural blueprints, to show how urban planners built the estate fired bya utopian vision of communal living.
Now the place isrun down, and home to various ethnic groups who mostly get on - especially asthe youth share a reference point in hip-hop - although hostilities are neverfar below the surface.
A taut, carefullypaced opening introduces the main characters on a fateful night: among them,Danish single mother social worker Søs (Støvelbaek), her teenage daughter Mie(Petersen) and Shadi (Bakier),the son of Palestinian immigrants.
Crisis comes whensecurity man Ole (Brian Lentz) comes across a brutally beaten young man. Heturns out to be Søs's son Per,and as the youth lies in hospital in a coma, doubts and rumourscirculate around the community about the perpetrators' identity.
Police areconvinced that Middle Eastern youths are to blame, and Ole - an ex-bouncer withdeep-lying anxieties about violence - becomes convinced that the likeliest suspectis Shadi's brother, promising boxer Tareq (Hassan).
As amulti-cultural urban drama, 1:1 isreminiscent of last decade's French school of social-realist banlieu dramas by the likes of MatthieuKassovitz and Jean-François Richet.But it makes its points with a rather heavy hand, Kim FupzAakeson's screenplay dutifully ticking all the rightboxes.
Counterpointbetween Shadi's and Mie'sfamilies, showing the anxieties faced both by Søs andby Shadi's and Tareq'sloving but careworn parents, demonstrate that wherever you go, parents willworry and children must grow up to stand on their own two feet. And anone-too-unexpected twist in the denouement reminds viewers not to trust theirpreconceptions.
A strong castheaded by newcomers Bakier and Petersen is mainlycalled on to express various shades of tension and anxiety, often conveyed inextreme close-ups that are especially effective given the film's Scope format.
High-definition photographygives a vivid, bravura feel, with striking framing of the estate's sprawlinghorizontals. The photography is pretty much seamless, although the dominantblue-greys become oppressive pretty quickly.
Zentropa Entertainments 18
Den Der Sover
Sigma Films III
Trust Film Sales
Peter Aalbaek Jensen
Kim Fupz Aakeson
Kim Høgh Mikkelsen
Molly Malene Stensgaard
Joy K Petersen