Katrine Philp, 93 min
Denmark, Germany, 2018
Trained interrogators can make innocent people confess to almost anything in the United States. A Danish lawyer works for justice in a hair-raising and cynical system.
During an interrogation in the United States, it is both legal and commonplace to use special psychological techniques to make the suspect confess. In a closed room, coached interrogators can not only get anyone to confess to anything – they can also make innocent people believe that they have actually committed crimes such as murder and child assault. In New York, the Danish-born defence attorney Jane Fisher-Byrialsen is working to prevent false confessions, so that less people end up in prison for crimes they have not committed. Through four of her cases, we meet those involved, the previously accused and the family members of those incarcerated. And through video footage from the interrogation room, which makes our hair stand on end, we experience what the suspects go through in terms of brutal, psychological manipulation by police officers who are more interested in maintaining their high success rate than in upholding justice. The mechanisms of the law become tangible as we meet Danish Malthe Thomsen who was acquitted of a baseless accusation. 'False Confessions' is a legal thriller about a pro-bono idealist's work for justice in a cynical justice system.