Involuntary (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
De ofrivilliga
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ruben Östlund
Produced by Erik Hemmendorff
Written by Ruben Östlund
Erik Hemmendorff
Starring Maria Lundqvist
Leif Edlund
Olle Lijas
Cinematography Marius Dybwad Brandrud
Edited by Ruben Östlund
Distributed by AB Svensk Filmindustri
Release date
  • 19 May 2008 (2008-05-19) (Cannes)
  • 28 November 2008 (2008-11-28) (Sweden)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Sweden
Language Swedish

Involuntary (Swedish: De ofrivilliga) is a 2008 Swedish film directed by Ruben Östlund described as "a tragic comedy or comic tragedy." It features five parallel stories with human group behaviour as the common theme.[1] The film is notable for its long takes with no cuts within the scenes. This is related to Östlund's background as a skiing film director, where a cut would only indicate failure. The longest scene lasts for seven minutes.[2]

The film received mainly positive reviews. It has won several awards at international film festivals and was nominated for five Swedish Guldbagge Awards including Best Film, but didn't win in any category. It was also selected as Sweden's submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards.[3]


The work with the script started already in autumn 2004, when Östlund and Hemmendorff started to write down vignettes on the theme, inspired by or taken directly from their own experiences.[4]

Filming started in the summer 2006. One scene per day was shot during the production, with around 20 takes for each scene, although some scenes demanded far more.[5] The independent stories were shot one at a time, meaning that many of the actors never met before the premiere.[6]


The film premiered on 19 May 2008 at the Cannes Film Festival in the section Un certain regard.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

The general reception in Swedish press was positive. As of 14 July 2009 it had an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 based on 24 reviews at the Swedish-language review site, making it the highest rated Swedish film from 2008.[8][9] An exception was Jan-Olov Andersson at Aftonbladet, who rated the film 2 out of 5 and dismissed it as "Roy Andersson light."[10]

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Category Name Outcome
Brussels European Film Festival[11] Golden Iris Ruben Östlund Won
Geneva Cinéma Tout Ecran[12] Best Director Ruben Östlund Won
Guldbagge Awards[13] Best Film Erik Hemmendorff Nominated
Best Director Ruben Östlund Nominated
Best Screenplay Ruben Östlund and Erik Hemmendorff Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Cecilia Milocco Nominated
Best Cinematography Marius Dybwad Brandrud Nominated
Mar del Plata Film Festival[14] Special Jury Award Ruben Östlund Won
Miami International Film Festival[15] FIPRESCI Award Won
Milan Film Festival[16] Special Mention Ruben Östlund Won
Palm Springs International Film Festival[17] FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film Won
Stockholm International Film Festival[18] Audience Award Ruben Östlund Won
Best Screenplay Ruben Östlund and Erik Hemmendorff Won


  1. ^ Involuntary at the Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  2. ^ Carlberg, Ingrid (2009-01-18). "Folkfilmaren Ruben Östlund" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  3. ^ Rehlin, Gunnar (2009-09-15). "Swedes send 'Involuntary' to Oscars". Variety. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
  4. ^ Pham, Annika (2008-10-30). "Interview with Ruben Östlund". Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  5. ^ Pallas, Hynek (2007-01-05) "Sökandet efter rätt ögonblick" (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved on 2009-02-15.
  6. ^ Holmberg, Jonas. "Den nya våren" (PDF) (in Swedish). FLM. Autumn 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  7. ^ Page on
  8. ^ "De ofrivilliga" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  9. ^ "Top films 2008" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  10. ^ Andersson, Jan-Olov. (2008-11-28) "Roy Andersson i light-version" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  11. ^ AWARDS 2008 at (PDF)
  12. ^ Palmarès de la 14e édition Cinéma Tous Ecrans
  13. ^ "2008 års Guldbaggenomineringar" (in Swedish). Swedish Film Institute.
  14. ^ Awards at (DOC)
  15. ^ "And the winner is... ." Miami International Film Festival
  16. ^ 2008 Premi at
  17. ^ McDonald, Kathy A. (2010-01-17). "Palm Springs fest hands out prizes". Variety. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
  18. ^ Vinnare 2008 at

External links[edit]