Feb 07 - Feb 08, 2015

(2011, Sweden/France/Denmark, 35mm, 118 min)

“I want to make the audience active and reflective,” Östlund has stated. He does just that with this controversial record, inspired by actual court cases, of five black teenagers harassing white and Asian youths through scams and role-playing. 

All violence is implied, but the graver implication (which inflamed critics on the home front) is that political correctness debilitates society, as “good people” stand by and do nothing for fear of being thought racist. 

Östlund, who won a Swedish Oscar for Best Director and a “Coup de coeur” prize at Cannes, imprisons his actors within a frame, not unlike our social mores freezing us in place. Unabashedly impolite, Play offers food for thought and fuel for fury.

Screens with:
Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 
(2005, Sweden, 35mm, 9 min) 

A young man boasts to friends that he will jump from a high bridge into the river below, then  begins  to  have  second  thoughts. This penetrating  short presages Östlund’s Involuntary for its illustration of peer pressure and Force Majeure for its critique of the fragile male psyche.

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