Synopsis by Mark Deming
A frustrated thespian tries to bring the joys of the theater to a group of convicts in this Swedish comedy. Reine (played by Bjorn Kjellman) is an out-of-work actor in dire need of a job; as a last resort, he takes a position at a high-security prison. He discovers the prison has a room that is set up like a theater, prompting a brainstorm -- he can organize a prison theatrical troupe. A handful of inmates volunteers, though their interest has less to do with a love of drama and more to do with the possible opportunity to escape. But the drama club becomes just popular enough that Ekman (Thomas Hanzon), a long-term inmate who is the unofficial leader of the criminal population behind bars, feels his "authority" is being challenged, and he's not shy about using violence to restore the proper balance of power. Based in part on a true story, Vagen Ut (aka Breaking Out) was the debut feature from TV director Daniel Lind Lagerlof; it was shown to critical and public acclaim at the 1999 Gothenburg Film Festival.
criminal, inmate, prison, Sweden, theater, troupe