Synopsis by Mark Deming
Writer and director Ruben Ostlund explores issues of race and class in contemporary Sweden in this drama inspired by a true story. Anas Abdirahman, Yannick Diakite, Abdiaziz Hilowle, Nana Manu and Kevin Vaz play a group of boys between the ages of 12 and 14 who come from African immigrant families; the boys are well aware of the stereotypes that follow black youth in a nation like Sweden, and they use them to intimidate other boys their age. The kids target three other boys -- two white (Sebastian Blyckert and Sebastian Hegmar), one Asian (John Ortiz) -- and with a variation on "Good Cop, Bad Cop" they force them to give up their cash and belongings, knowing that their victims will probably never report what's happened to them for fear of seeming racist. When the parents of two of the victimized children find out what has been happening, they approach the perpetrators, only to find others don't often approve of their actions. Play was an official selection at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.