I would recommend Ondskan to anyone who is interested in coming-of-age films. American cinema has always been expert at such portrayals, and it is good to see so accomplished an example out of Sweden. I liked especially the fact that the director never wavers as he unmasks the unwholesome face of an angst-ridden, violence-prone, socially intransigent Swedish society of the not so long ago . Set in the fifties, mostly at a posh boarding school for the upper-class, where the sixth-form boys, led by an effete Swedish aristocrat, go about enforcing their arbitrary and violent rules while the faculty turn a blind eye, this film cleverly avoids the hooks, punches and triumphs of the underdog come to grips with the jack-booted status quo via his fists alone by allowing him to prevail to justice through the implementation of Swedish law. There are enough fisticuffs along the way, however, to satisfy the blood-thirsty among you. Well-acted, good script, beautiful cinematographic moments.
A teenage boy expelled from school for fighting arrives at a boarding school where the systematic bullying of younger students is encouraged as a means to maintain discipline, and decides to fight back.
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June 8, 2019