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A graduate of the Michael Haneke School of Formalistic Staring Contests with the Abyss, Sweden's Ruben stlund takes a story torn from the headlines—a spate of scams perpetrated by immigrant preteens—and turns it into an allegory for Europe's anti-melting-pot view on race. When the movie's underage thugs ritually humiliate two white kids and their Asian friend, we're supposed to collectively wince and shudder at the inhumanity of it all. Unlike Haneke, however, stlund hasn't figured out that chilly and chilling are two different things. Meanwhile, the film takes its mixed-message theorizing to a whole new level of muddleheadedness: We've been stealing African culture for centuries, so they're paying us back by snatching our material goods? Really?—DF

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New York Film Festival 2011

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