Ruben Ostlund

Sweden, France, Denmark 2011, 110 min.


Spoken language: Swedish

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.



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