Cathedrals of Culture: Halden Prison

Michael Madsen, Denmark, 2014

26 min.DK/Documentary

You can judge a society on how it treats its prisoners, said Dostoevsky. Halden prison in Norway, designed by Danish architects, is called "The world's most humane prison". Can a building in itself better a person? The prison houses some of Norway's most dangerous prisoners, and the philosophy is that design and architecture will contribute to killers and rapists transforming into good average citizens. How does no bars in front of the window affect an inmate? Instead there is a large panoramic view to the nature outside. And art inside. Is it just aesthetics, or does the design of the rooms - the acoustics, the texture, the air - have an affect on the people who inhabit the building? Can a prison ever be humane?
Basic information Credits
Original title Kulturkatedraler: Halden fængsel
Danish title Kulturkatedraler: Halden fængsel
Keywords Prisons, Architecture, Norway
Director Michael Madsen
Screenplay Michael Madsen
Producer Anne Köhncke, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Director of Photography Wolfgang Thaler
Editor Janus Billeskov Jansen
Sound Peter Albrechtsen
Composer Karsten Fundal
Production country Denmark, Germany
Dialogue language English
Danish festival release 29.03.2014, DR Byen, Copenhagen Architecture Festival 2014
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Production company Final Cut for Real ApS
Co-production Neue Road Movies
With support from Det Danske Filminstitut, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, MEDIA (EU), Dreyers Fond
In collaboration with DR K, ARTE, NRK, UR


Direction Michael Madsen
1st assistant director Yvonne Daniela Geiler
2nd assistant director Nikos Appelqvist Dalton


Script Michael Madsen


Producer Anne Köhncke
Producer Signe Byrge Sørensen
Co-producer Erwin M. Schmidt
Co-producer Gian-Piero Ringel
Production manager Heidi Elise Christensen
Line producer Ole Nicolaisen
Post-production manager Maria Kristensen
Post-production consultant Tino Zidore


Director of Photography Wolfgang Thaler
Steadicam operator Torben Meldgaard Andersen
Stereographer Sebastian Cramer
Data wrangler Christopher Robert Nunn


Editor Janus Billeskov Jansen


Composer Karsten Fundal


Sound designer Peter Albrechtsen
Sound artist Øivind Weingaarde

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