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



Lene Berg’s Studio



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