Ruben Ostlund (2011)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This Swedish production is informed by real-life incidents in Gothenburg, where groups of black immigrant teens picked on more affluent middle-class white kids. A superficial response to the film would be one of concern that this is merely demonising the aggressors as they cannily part their victims from their smartphones. Look closer, however, and it's clear the thieves are exploiting their prey's conflicted perceptions of ethnic minorities - torn between politically correct passive acceptance and fearful paranoia. Equally evident is that the aggressors enjoy the theatricality of such power games as much as their ill-gotten gains. This is risky film-making, and although it's true that writer/director Ruben Ostlund allows proceedings to run on long after we've grasped his key ideas, the action looks convincingly real and the young cast members are credible throughout. Overall, Play justifies its provocations by encouraging the viewer to ponder the links between social inequality and toxic cultural branding.


Five teenagers whose parents are African immigrants to Sweden use mind games to intimidate and steal from younger children without resorting to violence. The group manipulates the social attitudes of their victims, who are unwilling to defend themselves for fear of being seen as racist. Drama, starring Kevin Vaz and Sebastian Blyckert. In Swedish.

Cast & Crew

Kevin Kevin Vaz
Sebastian Sebastian Blyckert
Anas Anas Abdirahman
Yannick Yannick Diakite
John John Ortiz
Abdi Abdiaziz Hilowle
Alex Sebastian Hegmar
Nana Nana Manu
Director Ruben Ostlund
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Other Information

Language: Swedish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Soda PicturesGuidance: Swearing, sexual references.Available on: DVDReleased on: 12 Jul 2013