A CURZON FILM
Play is an astute observation based on real cases of bullying. In central Gothenburg, Sweden, a group of boys, aged 12-14, robbed other children on about 40 occasions between 2006 and 2008. The thieves used an elaborate scheme called the ‘little brother number’ or ‘brother trick’, involving advanced role-play and gang rhetoric rather than physical violence. Ruben Östlund’s raw, fly-on-the-wall drama profits from impressive turns by its mostly non-professional cast. Though it deals with issues of racial difference, the film is as concerned with class and social inequality, refusing to proffer any easy answers for the characters’ motivations.