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Film Review: Montblanc Screenplay Award of 10,000 Euros to Gnade (Mercy) written by Kim Fupz Aakeson
by Becky Tan

Niels works for a natural gas liquefying plant and diddles with a colleague on his off hours. His wife Maria helps out at a hospice for hopelessly ill patients. Their son Markus goes to school. They are just a normal German family living in a small, northern Norwegian town. One fateful night Maria hits an object on the road, stops, looks around, finds nothing, and, nursing a deep-down inkling of the truth, returns home. The next day Markus reports that his school friend Mette has died in a hit-and-run accident. The parents of the dead girl (as well as most of the villagers) gradually suspect as much as we do. Mette’s parents visit Niels and Maria for a serious talk in their living room on their comfortable sofa, and, in the end, dispense Gnade or mercy. The film is good for serious discussions about ways of forgiveness in different cultures and whether any would be as merciful as this Norwegian couple. Director Matthias Glasner is surely proud to have had his film shown in competition at the Berlinale and then again at the Hamburg Film Festival in 2012. I’m sure none of us would react as these two Norwegians do, which makes this Norwegian version interesting.