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ReFocus: The Films of Susanne Bier$
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Missy Molloy, Mimi Nielsen, and Meryl Shriver-Rice

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474428729

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474428729.001.0001

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Danish Privilege and Responsibility in the Work of Susanne Bier

Danish Privilege and Responsibility in the Work of Susanne Bier

Chapter:
(p.243) Chapter 13 Danish Privilege and Responsibility in the Work of Susanne Bier
Source:
ReFocus: The Films of Susanne Bier
Author(s):

Meryl Shriver-Rice

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474428729.003.0013

Meryl Shriver-Rice interprets Brothers, After the Wedding, and In a Better World in terms of the shared trope of the white male sojourner who travels from Denmark to locations that feature non-white, non-Western citizens. This chapter situates the Bier/Jensen trilogy within a wider trend of contemporary Scandinavian narratives of guilt. In assessing potential critiques of the trilogy on postcolonial grounds, Shriver-Rice argues that the “elsewheres” of these films do not ignore geographic location specifics and cultural contexts in order to assert a universalizing morality. Instead, the ethical trajectories of these films are not universal, and the idea that universalist ethics will inevitably fail takes precedence. Shriver-Rice argues that Bier’s drawing from non-industrialized non-Western space has more to do with speaking to the privileged-world guilt in the Danish viewer, and reminding him or her of the world at large beyond Western space.

Keywords:   Susanne Bier, Danish cinema, transnational cinema studies, postcolonial film studies

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