Last night I attended a q & a at the Writers Guild theatre with Susanne Bier, renowned director of the Oscar-nominated In A Better World (Sony Classics, 4.1), which had just screened. One of her most interesting answers came when a guy asked about the film not really saying one precise thing about pacifism vs violence and forgiveness vs. revenge, and whether her views on these subjects were less ambiguous than those in the film.

In my Sundance review I said that World “is like a moralistic cousin of Clint Eastwood‘s Unforgiven” in that Bier “shows us how violence can sometimes feel better and more ‘right’ than gentleness and compassion and turning the other cheek.

“By the finale Bier has shown us the upside and downside of gentleness and patience, and of angry brutality and push-back action. She’s clearly saying that we need to be strong and wise enough to not surrender to violent impulses, but she doesn’t make it an easy choice. Sometimes the Clint Eastwood blow-em-away approach is the right (or at least the understandable) thing to do, and sometimes not.”

In A Better World director Susanne Bier and composer husband Jesper Winge Leisner — Wednesday, 2.23, 10:10 pm.

Interviewer Pete Hammond (l.) and Susanne Bier (r.) — WGA theatre, Wednesday, 2.23, 9:40 pm.