This is a story of a disturbed normal life. In other words, it is a story that fear transforms the lives of the characters almost to destroy them. Ali is a man who comes from the Middle East. Lives in Sweden, is a taxi driver and has two daughters. Leo is an unassuming boy classmate of one of his daughters. Both will live in parallel a descent into hell when fear is installed in their lives and consumes them from within. In the case of Ali, through a message that sends memories to a distant past as a terrorist he thought he had finally escaped; in the case of Leo, when a series of unfortunate coincidences lead him to shoot another boy who constantly torments him. Both characters have to face their fears or succumb to it.Written by
A tense drama about different levels of bullying and whether violence in reaction can be justified.
In this tense drama we meet Leo (Emil Odepark), a Swedish schoolboy who has been the target of bullying by Danne (Martin Wallström), a fellow- student, for three years. It seems as if nothing has been done about the matter, although the adults are aware of it. Leo's mother, (Tintin Anderzon), a police woman, believes that Leo has to turn the other cheek; not helpful advice to a lad already under emotional stress. Time is however ticking; Leo is approaching breaking point
Ali (Per Graffman), a taxi driver, from Middle-Eastern origin, has a happy family life with his Swedish wife and two daughters. It is here that the two story-lines cross; Leo is (one-sidedly) in love with one of Ali's daughters, sharing his class. Ali's peace of mind gets shattered when he is approached by an unknown Middle-Eastern woman, who informs him that people close to him will be harmed if he does not cooperate with her. It is revealed that Ali was an officer in a liberation movement in his home country as a young man, but that he had deserted to start a new life in northern Europe. And that this Middle- Eastern woman has taken trouble to find him, with one specific purpose: All that is required from Ali is that he prevents Sanders, a manufacturer of heavy motor vehicles, from exporting his trucks to Ali's home-country. Even if he has to kill Sander in the process. We soon find out why it is important to stop the export of vehicles to that specific Middle-Eastern country; The murderous regime in Ali's country of birth is equipping Sander's trucks with rocket launchers that are used to annihilate whole villages. Ali is given a deadline; he has precious little time to decide what to do.
This suspenseful, tragic drama demands answers about moral questions; when, if at all, is revenge and violence justified? And what are the alternatives? Thematically this excellent film is related to the outstanding 'In a Better World' (aka 'Hævnen') (2010), which, incidentally, I can recommend.
Without giving anything away, the hard-hitting ending will stay with me for a long time. Great acting, cinematography (an effective combination of hand-held camera work and more static photography) and restless soundtrack - contrasted by the serene, crystal-clear notes of 'Amazing Grace' at times - and a gripping script make this a film to be watched again. 7.5/10.
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