A low-key drama about faith-healing set inside a women's prison, In Your Hands has been made according to the back-to-basics principles of Lars Von Trier's Dogme 95 movement. Anna (Ann Eleonora Jørgensen) plays a new prison chaplain whose faith is put to the test by withdrawn inmate Kate (Trine Dyrholm), who's rumoured to have God-given healing powers. Yet in the inhospitable world of Annette K Olesen's (Minor Mishaps) desolate film there's a price to pay for everything - even miracles.
"There's something about God and her," whispers an inmate after Kate cures one of the prison's junkies with nothing but her empty hands. Priggish chaplain Anna isn't convinced by the stories about cellblock miracles - at least not until Kate correctly guesses that she's pregnant. When Anna's baby turns out to have a potential chromosome defect, though, the chaplain is caught between trusting in God that her baby won't be born retarded, aborting her pregnancy, or asking Kate to work her 'magic'.
"IT'S A GLUM TALE THAT PACKS A LOT IN"
Prison movies have always loved miracles but In Your Hands strays far from the uplifting feel-good factor of blockbusters like The Green Mile. Offering little hope of redemption, it's a glum tale that packs a lot into its limited scope while raising tough questions about the limits of faith. Convinced that someone doing time for killing her own child would never be chosen as God's messenger, Anna eventually brings her distrust of Kate to an inevitably dark conclusion. Depressing viewing, then - though not without a certain power.
In Danish with English subtitles.