What kind of person can kill another? What drives a person to murder? Since 1954 Greenland’s most dangerous criminals have served their sentences in Denmark, thousands of kilometers away from their families, for undefined periods of time. Entering into interplay with the Forensic Psychiatric Unit R3 in Denmark, Ivalo Frank creates a work based on moving, honest, and critical interviews with five mentally ill patients who live their lives in a closed, locked ward, home to around 18 mentally ill Greenlandic people who have been sentenced to psychiatric care by a court of law. Many of the patients/inmates have committed acts of grievous bodily harm resulting in death, and most battle addictions and personality disorders.
”They are intelligent, sweet, ordinary people like you and me. Almost. Things have just gone wrong for them. All wrong. I wished to meet them as people rather than as the monsters conjured up by media descriptions of violent criminals” (Ivalo Frank, 2012)
As the film develops, the viewer is invited into the most intimate lives of the five patients thereby getting a rare insight into their personal stories about boundless grief, sadness and shame. Furthermore, OPEN touches upon the bigger political aspects of the Greenlanders serving sentences. Since 2006 the displacement of Greenland’s most dangerous criminals has been declared a violation of their human right to maintain close ties with their families,
a right they are entitled to under Article Eight of the European Convention on Human
Rights. However, the construction of a closed ward in Greenland suffers continuous setbacks because of conflict over cost between the Greenland Government and the Danish Ministry of Justice.
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