New Internationalist

In Your Hands

May 2005

Anna has just become a prison chaplain and, after years of trying, pregnant. Kate, a former addict, is inside for neglecting her daughter who died of thirst. Anna, young, approachable, caring, wants to help the women in her care – God, she says, understands and forgives everyone.

A spiritual theme may seem surprising since this is a Dogme film, but In Your Hands is true to Dogme’s concern for unvarnished realism, for the here and now. Anna’s setpiece communions in the prison chapel are a farce. And when she learns her baby may have serious mental and physical disabilities, she cannot trust in her God.

Unable to reach out to God or other people, Anna falls into limbo. Kate, who starts to emerge from emotional paralysis, reaches out and is destroyed by her vulnerability. This is a subtle, all-too-believable and poignant film.

Malcom Lewis

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 378 This column was published in the May 2005 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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