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Ruben Ostlund

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An astute observation based on real cases of bullying. In central Gothenburg, Sweden, a group of boys, aged 12-14, robbed other children on about 40 occasions between 2006 and 2008. The thieves used an elaborate scheme called the 'little brother number' or 'brother trick', involving advanced role-play and gang rhetoric rather than physical violence.


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An insightful and troubling film about race, mores and manipulation, and the social construct of the Other, Ruben Östlund's Play is based on an actual incident in Gothenburg where a group of black kids manipulated other teenagers, mostly from "ethnic" backgrounds, into surrendering their valuables. Shot entirely in long shot, Play is chilling in its ambiguity.


Sweden, France, Denmark 2011, 110 min.


Spoken language: Swedish


Coproduction Office

+33 156026000

Dutch distribution:


+31 205891400

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Human rights
discrimination & racism
children and youth
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