6.0/10
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10 user 5 critic

Schpaaa (1998)

Jonas and Emir are members of a criminal gang of 14-15 year-olds in Oslo. Emir has slight brain-damage after being beaten by his father as a 5-year-old, and Jonas' biggest problem is ... See full summary »

Director:

Erik Poppe
Reviews
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maikel Andressen Abou-Zelof Maikel Andressen Abou-Zelof ... Jonas
Jalal Zahedjekta Jalal Zahedjekta ... Emir
Sharjil Arshed Sharjil Arshed ... Jack
Mickael Marman Mickael Marman ... Ali
Seth Raknes Seth Raknes ... Lille Jan
Kiyana Faravardeh Kiyana Faravardeh ... Mira-Fe
Irina Eidsvold Tøien Irina Eidsvold Tøien ... Jonas' Mother
Damir Dado Pudar Damir Dado Pudar ... Emir's Uncle
Rolf Petter Næss Rolf Petter Næss ... Big-Shot
Stian Bonnevie Arntzen Stian Bonnevie Arntzen ... Boy From Westside
Kjersti Borgen Kjersti Borgen ... Eva
Tormod Gjersvold Tormod Gjersvold ... Substitute Teacher
Roger Mogstad Roger Mogstad ... Police officer
Turid Gunnes Turid Gunnes ... Politikvinne
Jag Safri Jag Safri ... Shop Owner
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Storyline

Jonas and Emir are members of a criminal gang of 14-15 year-olds in Oslo. Emir has slight brain-damage after being beaten by his father as a 5-year-old, and Jonas' biggest problem is stopping Emir from hitting people on the head. One day, they are offered a job by a gang of drug-dealers: Deliver a packet of heroin to one guy and beat up another. This is the start of a chain of events that sends their lives spiraling out of control. Written by Barend

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gang | teen rebel | city | teenager | police | See All (7) »

Taglines:

Cruelty. Friendship. A deadly serious game.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Norway

Language:

Norwegian | Mandarin

Release Date:

16 October 1998 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Bunch of Five See more »

Filming Locations:

Oslo, Norway

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bulbul Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Mir is about to get hit by a train, Jonas appears to be walking behind his friend and close to the rails, warning him about the train coming. Later on, when Mir disappears from view giving the impression that he was hit, Jonas and his friends can be seen from a higher spot, far from the rails. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jonas: Emir was my best friend. He has always been my friend. He is 15 years old and comes from Yugoslavia. I have always known that he would make my life a living hell. It scared me out of my wits. My name is Jonas and I'm 14 years old. I have always lived here in town, and I have always lived with my mum. I have never met my father. When Mir was little, his dad clubbed him on the head. Now he has a right proper dent. He had lain down on his bed without taking his shoes off. His dad was ...
See more »

Connections

References Dead Man Walking (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

I can't see what everybody finds so bad about this film.
18 April 2003 | by H-o-n-gSee all my reviews

Having first seen the film ages ago in 1999, I was quite impressed. I wanted to find a review of it but I couldn't (Its not called Schpaaa here), when I eventually found this site, I was quite dissapointed to see that there was a 5.7/10 rating. I thought, well you know, mabe it wasnt that great. But then I saw it again last night on SBS, and I was still impressed by it.

I think why this is rated so lowly is that the plot is highly unbelievable, Im no expert on Norway, but i'm sure Oslo does not have street kids that are involved with the Yugoslavian Mafia and deliver drugs and beat men up. But if it isn't real, the director has as sure as hell made it look real. He films the graffitied, dark forbidding parts of Oslo making the place seem bleak and inhabitable. The whole landscape is that of grey cement and heav y urbanization, it is certainly the dark side to the otherwise beautiful Norwegian city. The lives of these kids (the youngest being 11) are harsh and damaged, they commit crimes by the dozen are are rebels from mainstream Norwegian society. I think if this had been set in New York or London, it would be alot more believable than in Oslo.

What keeps this film going is the unlikely friendship forged between Jonas and Emir. Emir is the strongest of the "Bunch of Five" but he is constantly bullied by all the others except Jonas, who tries to prevent the ridicule. Emir -who has brain damage from a beating his father administered to him when he was young- frequently attacks Jonas with a knife or by strangling him, but yet the two remarkably still stay friends. Emir is stupid, but we see him constantly wishing for a better life which he knows he will never obtain. The last excruciating scenes are very violent, Emir is betrayed by the other boys and is beaten to a pulp (literally) but their friendship prevails and Jonas comes to his rescue.

I think my view of Schpaaa might be a little bias, considering I was these kids age only 4 years ago, so I can relate to them much better than any adult can.

If you like Ken Loach films or liked Bully or Kids, id reccomend this film to you.

Im giving this 7.5/10, but ill vote a 10 for it to bring its undeservedly low average up. A fine film, though if you ask me again about it when i am a 30 year old man in a boring job, I will probably say its crap. I would have lost the ability to enjoy this controversial teenage Norwegian hit by that time.


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