Evil | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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Adapted from Jan Guillou's autobiographical novel, this 2003 feature by Mikael Hafstrom explores whether it's better to combat injustice with force or passive resistance. In 1950s Sweden a teenager with violent tendencies (Andreas Wilson) is shipped off to boarding school by his abusive stepfather and loving but weak mother; when his athletic prowess and defiant attitude make him the target of an older boy (Gustaf Skarsgard), he refuses to fight back, goading the bully to sadistic extremes against him and his bookish roommate (Henrik Lundstrom). This suspenseful, beautifully acted Dickensian drama forces us to confront our own bloodlust: do we root for the teen to win a moral victory or to beat the bad guy to a pulp? In Swedish with subtitles. 109 min. Landmark's Century Centre.

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