Norsk filminstitutt

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.  

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Ingebjørg Torgersen
Lene Berg


  • Lene Berg

    Born in Oslo in 1965, Lene Berg studied film at Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm. She has directed three feature length films En Kvinnas Huvud (1997), Kopfkino (2012), and GOMP: Tales of Surveillance in Norway 1948-1989 (2014) as well as more than fifteen video-projections and shorter films.

    Working as an artist, Berg integrates text, film and photography in her work. She explores relationships between contemporary images and inherited ideas; between facts and clichés; between structures of narration and ideology. Berg is particularly interested in what is not told and what does not fit the general picture or story.

    Her works have been shown at Whitechapel Gallery, London; Art in General, New York and Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis. She has participated in the Biennale of Sydney, Contour Mechelen, Manifesta 8 and La Biennale di Venezia .
    Berg lives and works in Berlin and New York.

    Lene Berg


Berlin International Film Festival
Nominated for Amnesty Filmpreis 2019


Berlin International Film Festival
Festival Cine Sevilla
Human International Documentary Film Festival


Lene Berg
Zayne Armstrong
Butch Morris

Technical information

DCP 2k
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