Drifters (Original title: Tjuvheder)
1h 32 min
Director/Writer: Peter Grönlund

Drifters is an intense and brutal glimpse into the peripheral world where a debt can get you killed and where a roof over your head can sometimes be a luxury. The film is a raw, untainted view into a parallel world of crime and punishment — the original title translates to "honor among thieves" — that was hailed by some critics as the year’s best in Sweden.

The film starts with the main character Minna running around in her apartment. It’s messy everywhere, the mail is piling up and she’s juggling a phone call while she fills up bags with drugs. At the other end of the call is her landlord. Minna is forced out of the apartment and into the street. Here, violence is even more urgent, and after cheating on a drug dealer she’s forced to flee the city. At a campground she finds a moment of peace among other outcasts. Until her past catches up with her....

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Nearly all (95 percent) of the characters in the film are not portrayed by professional actors but were hand-picked based on their own life experiences. It’s not just acting ex-addicts and the homeless but also social workers, police officers and staff at shelters. Director Peter Grönlund points out that this doesn’t make Drifters a documentary, but a fictitious fast paced drama-thriller. “We made a very thorough casting call to find the right people. It has not just been about finding people with the right experiences, they also had to have the ability to use them, as well as have the urge to finish the film and not disappear in the middle of production,” he told Swedish media.

Drifters is not for the faint of heart as is really good. It hurts and stays with you like an old wound and is empathetic without being polished. The amateurs that make up the live wallpaper of the film give it strong credibility and Malin Levanon starring as Minna is absolutely stunning.

UBM