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In Stockholm, on St. Lucy's feast day, a bandit daringly robs a crowded post office. Within a fortnight, two witnesses are dead. Two cops from vice squad, Johansson and Jarnebring, who were the first to the crime scene, pursue all leads and identify a suspect, an arrogant member of the elite secret police, a man assigned to guard the country's Minister of Justice. Just as the beat cops think they've tightened the noose around the suspect, loose ends appear, witnesses lose their certainty, alibis crop up, and even the cops doubt what they've seen. Who's protecting the suspect and why? Written by
The security guard who comes forward with a belated piece of information claims to have been on vacation to Gambia over the holidays, presumably to escape the Swedish winter, but he shows no signs of any tan. See more »
Director Widerberg could do very well in widely separate genres. He did a few crime stories on cinema, but never just for the 'who dunnit'. There had to be a burning social message, something rotting in the kingdom.
Here it sure is. The Leif GW Persson novel, on which the film is based, is about misuse of power, all the way up. The novel is actually loosely based on a political scandal in Sweden, which Persson was involved in revealing.
Widerberg's movie has got several qualities, way beyond that of creating a thrill. With a very firm grip, of the kind only somebody that skilled as a director can have, he tightens the suspense, intensifies the conflict, broadens the importance of what takes place, until the film becomes an unpleasant, but in its own way accurate, revelation about modern society. And it's a good thrill, too.
A trivia of interest to none but me, I guess, is that one of the locations is my apartment at that time.
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