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Il capitano (1991)

The film is based on a true occurrence in Sweden in 1988. A Finish couple murdered a young boy and his parents when they prevented the theft of the son's bicycle. The film tries to describe... See full summary »


Jan Troell
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Heiskanen ... Minna
Antti Reini Antti Reini ... Jari
Berto Marklund Berto Marklund ... Polisen
Antti Vierikko Antti Vierikko ... Jari 13 år
Harri Mallenius Harri Mallenius ... Lärären
Marjut Dahlström Marjut Dahlström ... Lärärinnan
Eva Stellby Eva Stellby ... Obducenten
Matti Dahlberg Matti Dahlberg ... Pappan
Christina Frambäck Christina Frambäck ... Prästen
Ingemar Böcker Ingemar Böcker
Elisabeth Douglas Elisabeth Douglas
Jenny Enquist Jenny Enquist
Lars Fransson Lars Fransson
Kalle Ropponen Kalle Ropponen
Tomas Zolantin Tomas Zolantin


The film is based on a true occurrence in Sweden in 1988. A Finish couple murdered a young boy and his parents when they prevented the theft of the son's bicycle. The film tries to describe the relationship between the dominant Jari, who calls himself "Il Capitano", and his more mature "soldier" Minna, that develops into mutual dependence. Written by Robert Stroetgen <stroetgen@rrz.uni-hamburg.de>

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Crime | Drama


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Sweden | Finland | Germany


Finnish | Swedish

Release Date:

15 November 1991 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Il capitano: A Swedish Requiem See more »

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User Reviews

"An acute reconstruction..."
31 January 2011 | by SindreKaspersenSee all my reviews

With long takes, sudden flashbacks and alternate perspectives, Jan Troell, one of Scandinavia's most remarkable directors, starts off his ninth feature film by telling the background story leading up to a triple homicide that took place during a summer night nearby a cemetery on the 3rd of July 1988 in Åmsele, Sweden. Jan Troell's examining reconstruction follows the life story of a juvenile rebellion and the doomed romance between him and his more grounded girlfriend who involuntarily becomes his accomplice.

Earlier films like Arthur Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) and Terrence Malick's "Badlands" (1973) may come to mind when reading about this film, but "Il Capitano" is a quite different film and a far more realistic portrayal of romance leading to crime. Two converging psychological studies of character that goes very closely into the mind of the anti-hero male character and his subdued girlfriend stand at the center of this Sweden-Finland-Germany co-production, an acute reconstruction, which was awarded with the Silver Bear at the Berlinale in 1992 for best director. Jan Troell and his co-writers Göran Setterberg and Per Olov Enquist has divided the story into chapters and tells it through a highly efficient non-linear narrative that increases the unpredictability. The naturalistic and bleak milieu depictions, the distinct cinematography and the ominous music elevates the poignant atmosphere in this character-driven thriller which is convincingly acted by Maria Heiskanen and Antti Reini who where reunited seventeen years later in Jan Troell's enchanting "Everlasting Moments" (2008).

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