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Cannes 2011 Preview – "Play" (Ingenious Thievery)

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 6, 2011 8:40 AM
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Digging through the 2011 Cannes Film Festival lineup, looking for any titles with stories by and/or about people of African descent... I came across this Swedish feature titled, simply, Play, which will screen in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) section of the festival, beginning next week.

Directed by Ruben Östlund, his 3rd feature, Play, which is apparently based on real-life events, takes place between 2006 and 2008, in central Gothenburg, Sweden, and centers on a group of black boys, aged 12 to 14, who robbed other children, sans physical violence or threats, using an ingenious, elaborate system they called "The Brother Trick," which involved advanced role playing and gang rhetoric.

Hmmm... I need to know and see more.

The artistic director of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) calls Play, "a masterpiece," for whatever that's worth. Further... it's described as a "serious yet humorous study of human behavior."

I can't say that I'm familiar with the real-life Swedish cases the film is based on, and a Google search didn't immediately reveal anything, but I'll keep digging. I guess the fascination here for a white Swedish filmmaker would be that the fact that these young black boys used more brains than brawn to carryout their thievery, which, I suppose, speaks to a stereotype about blacks in general. I should note that these black kids are probably mostly African immigrants.

Still, I'm curious...

As already noted, our own MsWOO will be attending the Cannes Film Festival this year, and I know she's feverishly finalizing her event schedule for the period of time she'll be there; so, I'm betting this will be on her list of films to see.

Unfortunately, there's no trailer for it. No clips. Nada. Just some images, one of which you can see above.

But the film is now officially on my watch-list, so as soon as anything worthwhile surfaces, you'll know.

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