Piracy and Claustrophobia on the High Seas
the acclaimed film by Tobias Lindholm
Opens In Toronto – August 16 | tiff Bell Lightbox
Opens in Ottawa – August 16 | The Mayfair
the pic eschews sensationalism at every turn of its spare but tightly wound narrative
A powerful and intensely watchable film
– Screen International
One of the more unheralded standouts at this year’s Venice Film Festival
– The Hollywood Reporter
Director Tobias Lindholm and Actor Pilou Asbaek are available for interviews
by email, phone, Skype, or Hangout
(Toronto – July 11, 2013) Many films boast of being “lifted straight from the headlines.” Tobias Lindholm’s A Hijacking is so convincingly detailed and emotionally true, it has forced many critics to double-check its status as “fiction”. (It has also forced many critics’ thumbs to raise. Through its first 33 reviews, A Hijacking had a rare 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes).
Shot on the Kenyan coast, doubling for Somalian pirate territory (on a freighter that actually has a real-life hijacking history), A Hijacking even includes the naturalistic acting of Gary Skjoldmose Porter, one of the world’s top hijacking negotiators. The verisimilitude has won awards for the tense Danish thriller at film festivals from Tokyo to Thessaloniki to Palm Springs. Debuting in Venice 2012, and then on to TIFF for its North American premiere last year.
A story that reaches from the plush boardrooms to the nightmare of captivity below decks, A Hijacking tells a story that is both familiar (Somalian-based piracy has been a widely-covered crime epidemic since 2005) and difficult to imagine at the same time. It begins on the high seas, where a freighter cook named Mikkel (Pilou Asbaek) phones his wife with the dismaying news that he will be a few days late joining his family. The phone call is eerily prescient. Soon we see Mikkel being rounded up by Somalian thugs who have quietly climbed aboard and overpowered the crew.
The story onboard centres on Mikkel, who, along with his shipmates, is locked up, abused and denied access to lavatories for days on end. He is stoic, calm, but occasionally on the edge of cracking, particularly when he begins to doubt his company will pay their ransom.
On the other end is the company CEO Peter (Soren Malling), a by-the-book exec who conducts “business” with the pirates’ spokesman Omar (Abdihakin Asgar), over the objections of the British expert/advisor Connor (Porter), and experiences a change in attitude toward the “assets” that are his employees.
Tobias Lindholm made his directorial debut with the internationally acclaimed prison drama R, and has collaborated extensively as a screenwriter with Thomas Vinterberg, co-founder (with Lars Von Trier) of the influential Dogme 95 film movement. Vinterberg and Lindholm’s The Hunt won multiple prizes at Cannes, including a best actor award for Mads Mikkelsen.
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