Michael Noer, Tobias Lindholm / DK, 2010
Danish version / Czech and English subtitles, 90 min

When a person finds himself in prison, he becomes a mere number, a letter, just another inhabitant of a small barred space with a blood-splattered floor. Prisoner R feels just that way in his new, as it were, parallel world of uncompromising rules and tough laws; a world where honor isn’t just a word. He’s been put among the most hardened criminals, and in order to survive he must fight for his place in their rigidly hierarchical system. “In a letter from a friend, serving a long-term sentence, it read: ‘I am just waiting and trying not to think. Don’t ask me how I’m doing. Just tell me what’s going on out there....’ This is how our film started,” state the directors of the hard-bitten drama R, ranked along with A Prophet as one of the best prison movies of recent years. In their debut, the young Danish filmmakers tried above all to avoid clichés in a study of life behind bars, and to offer audiences an authentic experience of an environment where “one door has to be locked, before a new one can be opened.”

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