Film Comment Selects 2013

Call Girl

Showtimes

Film runs Wed, Feb 20 through Thu, Feb 21.

Call Girl
Mikael Marcimain, 2012
Sweden | Format: 35mm | 140 minutes

Based on a true story, and subject of a major controversy in Sweden last year, this inevitably semi-lurid but never exploitative drama is about the corruption of a 14-year-old girl lured into a prostitution ring catering to the political establishment in the 1970s. Partly a hard-knocks coming-of-age story and partly a political thriller, the movie’s action centers on Iris (Sofia Karemyr), who routinely sneaks out of her group foster home, drawn like a moth to the flame by the bright lights of Stockholm at night. She finds a kind of mother figure in the form of Dagmar Glans (Pernilla August), a madam who initiates her latest catch into the life and its perks, and soon what starts out as a boundary-testing adventure becomes an intoxicating thrill—until things quickly get too much for our young heroine. Enter Sandberg (Simon J. Berger), the only honest vice cop on the force, who, against the backdrop of an impending general election, starts to expose the ring and finds that its links go all the way to the top. It’s only a matter of time before these two characters cross paths and start attracting the kind of attention that gets people killed. Having served as an second unit director on Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Marcimain is completely at ease in this Seventies period setting and takes care to underline the irony of politicians appearing on television and delivering campaign speeches extolling the virtues of the government’s progressive policies regarding women’s equality and evolving sexual mores. Based on an actual scandal in which assassinated Prime Minister Olof Palme was implicated and which was brushed under the carpet for many years by the Swedish authorities.

Series: Film Comment Selects 2013

Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

Thank You to Our Sponsors