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False Belief


Harstad Cinema / screen 2

Festival director Helene Hokland in conversation with director Lene Berg and main character Delano Greenidge after the screening.

About the film:

A Norwegian artist reconstructs her kafkaesque journey through the US justice system, as her partner is arrested, convicted, and imprisoned without cause in New York.

False Belief is the autobiographical story of a couple caught up in a battle that is wiping out the seminal African-American cultural legacy in Harlem. In 2008 Norwegian artist Lene Berg moved to Harlem with her partner, a black man, a publisher who will be referred to as D. After giving the police a statement about being harassed by a neighbor, D was arrested. But what exactly is he being accused of? This led to a series of catastrophic events where D’s implicit trust in the U.S. justice system put everything he cherished at risk. Why doesn’t he play by the rules? Is he ignorant of the fact that black men are systematically transported to prison everyday in the United States? Is D a local hero or a fool? Why did he believe that his experience would have been any different? False Belief tries to untangle the circumstances around this criminal case through D’s candid storytelling accompanied by Berg’s own narration, driven by still and moving images, court documents, and collages. By analyzing what at first seems to be a minor case, False Belief uncovers the larger picture of a society that employs incarceration as a political and economic weapon.

- a different kind of true-crime from an increasingly gentrified Harlem.
Pelle Bamle, Morgenbladet

- False Belief is a playful, inquiring and very unsettling Norwegian documentary.
Ellen Lande, Ny Tid

- False Belief is a tough, complex but relevant and important film.
Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg—RBB|24

- One watches in disbelief as an innocent man is criminally convicted and loses his right to vote as aggressive gentrification is combined with a racist judicial system and traditional patterns of perception in Harlem.
Till Kadritzke, DER SPIEGEL


103 minutes, English dialogue

Premiered at the Berlinale 2019

Nominated for a Teddy Award and the Amnesty Award

Produced by FABB001 AS

About the artist:

Lene Berg. Photo Martin Rustad Johansen

Lene Berg. Photo Martin Rustad Johansen

Lene Berg (*1965) was born in Oslo and studied film at the Dramatiska Institutet (University College of Film, Radio, Television, and Theater), in Stockholm. In 1997 she directed the feature film En Kvinnas Huvud (A Woman’s Head) and has since produced mixed-media artworks and installations for galleries, museums, and public spaces as well as a number of short films. Most recently Berg directed the award-winning Kopfkino (2012) and GOMP: Tales of Surveillance in Norway 1948−1989 (2014), two featurelength films that reflect her passionate engagement with societal outsiders who challenge the mores of political and social institutions