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Sweden, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Northern Lights 04 New Scandinavian Cinema)

Director: Håfström

Evil (Ondskan) Sweden

In Evil, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Academy Awards, a sadistic group of power-tripping rich kids terrorise a young misfit at an elite private school.

Erik is considered capital 't' trouble by his teachers and parents. With his James Dean good looks, the highly intelligent and strong-willed Erik's real problem is his slap-happy stepfather who dishes out nightly beltings for even the most minor dinner table infractions. One schoolyard fight too many has the teenager packed off to an exclusive boarding school notorious for its discipline.

Punishment is doled out by the senior class whose philosophy, methods and appearance mirrors that of spit-shined SS officers. Erik's attempts to toe the line and shield his new friends from the seniors' violent reign fail and events boil over in a terrifying climax.

Evil's young cast does an incredible job and the sumptuous look of the film is helped along by the talent of Academy Award-winning art director Anna Asp, a cinema veteran who has worked with Ingmar Bergman, Bille August and Andrei Tarkovsky.

D Mikael Håfström P Hans Lønnerheden, Ingemar Leijonborg S Hans Gunnarsson, Mikael Håfström WS Nordisk Film International Sales L Swedish w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2003/110mins

Mikael Håfström was born in 1960. Films include: Days Like This (2001).

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