Well-to-do tourists lose their dignity. Plunged into a state of emergency, a family on holiday come into contact with human mechanisms that they have never confronted before. They are forced to recognise in themselves urges and instincts they’d learned to despise and assign only to others.
Force Majeure is an observational comedy about the role of the male in modern family life.
Motivation of the adjudication committee
Ruben Östlund’s dissection of human relationships is both coolly distant and heavily intrusive. His marital scenes visually expose dilemmas related to gender and morality, all framed wonderfully in a style that he has made his own.
Director/Scriptwriter – Ruben Östlund
Ruben Östlund was born in 1974 in Styrsö, a small island off the West coast of Sweden. An avid skier, Östlund directed three ski films, which testify to his taste for long sequence shots. He studied filmmaking at the University of Gothenburg, and it was here that he met producer Erik Hemmendorff, with whom he later founded Plattform Produktion. He is well known for his distinctive style and accurate observations of human social behaviour.
His short film Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 won the Prix UIP for Best European Short Film in Edinburgh 2005, while Incident by a Bank won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2010. His first feature, The Guitar Mongoloid, was awarded a FIPRESCI Prize in Moscow and was nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2005. His second feature, Involuntary, was selected at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard 2008. His third, Play,premiered at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes 2011, where it won a “Coup de Coeur”. It was also nominated for the European Parliament’s LUX prize and won the Nordic Council Film Prize 2012. Force Majeure was Östlund’s third selection in Cannes, where it picked up the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize and received rave reviews from the international press.
Producer – Erik Hemmendorff
Born in 1973, Erik Hemmendorff attended the School of Photography and Film at Gothenburg University, where he met director Ruben Östlund. In 2002, they set up Plattform Produktion, which aims to give young Nordic filmmakers a platform for developing a different and unique approach to cinema.
Hemmendorff has produced Östlund’s award-winning films Autobiographical Scene Number 6882, Involuntary, Incident by a Bank, Play and Force Majeure, as well as the documentary films An Extraordinary Study in Human Degradation, Greetings from the Woods and Twin Brothers: 53 Scenes from a Childhood.
As co-producer, Hemmendorff has worked on Dau by Russian director Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Bypass by UK director Duane Hopkins and Concrete Night by the well-established Finnish director Pirjo Honkasalo.
Hemmendorff was awarded the Lorens Prize for Best Swedish Producer in 2008 and was named “Producer on the Move” at Cannes 2009.
Producer – Marie Kjellson
Marie Kjellson was born in 1981 and raised in Gothenburg. She studied business, economics and law at the University of Gothenburg, and film and TV at Skurups Folkhögskola.
She worked as an editor on films such as The Archipelago by Johan Jonason and The Girl from Auschwitz by Stefan Jarl. In 2004, she joined Plattform Produktion, where she held various producing roles on Ruben Östlund’s films such as production manager of Involuntary, line producer of Play and producer of Incident by the Bank and Force Majeure.
She also acted as co-producer on the Finnish film Concrete Night.
In December 2013, she founded her own production company, Kjellson & Wik.
Producer – Philippe Bober
Born on 28 May 1963, Philippe Bober runs the European label Coproduction Office, founded in 1987 and dedicated to daring and engaging art-house films. The label includes an international sales arm and thee production companies: Parisienne in Paris, Essential in Berlin and Coproduction Office in Copenhagen.
Bober has long-lasting and productive relationships with major European filmmakers such as Roy Andersson and Ruben Östlund (Sweden), Michelangelo Frammartino (Italy), Jessica Hausner and Ulrich Seidl (Austria).
Key production information
Original title: Turist
Director: Ruben Östlund
Writer: Ruben Östlund
Producers: Erik Hemmendorff, Marie Kjellson, Philippe Bober
Main Cast: Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Kristoffer Hivju, Fanni Metelius
Production companies: Plattform Produktion AB (Sweden), Parisienne (France), Coproduction Office ApS (Denmark)
Running time: 118 minutes
Domestic distribution: TriArt
International Sales: Coproduction Office
Jannike Åhlund, Jon Asp, Kristina Börjeson