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My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

Film Review: STOCKHOLM

Film Review: STOCKHOLM

WDCB’s Gary Zidek reviews the new film, STOCKHOLM.

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Chances are you’re likely familiar with the term Stockholm Syndrome, often described as a condition where hostages form an emotional attachment to their captors.

 But do you know where the term came from?

Some people point to the Patty Hearst kidnapping that took place in 1974 as an example of Stockholm Syndrome.  But the origins of the expression actually go back a year earlier …

Jan-Erik Olsson took four bank workers hostage during a failed robbery in Stockholm. The incident lasted six days in late August of 1973.  When the stand-off with police ended, and Olsson released the hostages, none of them would testify against him. A Swedish psychiatrist brought in by police to help question the hostages came up with the term.

 The new film STOCKHOLM is based on that real life incident.

Ethan Hawke as Lars in STOCKHOLM

Ethan Hawke as Lars in STOCKHOLM

STOCKHOLM was written & directed by Canadian filmmaker Robert Budreau, who’s last film was the dark Chet Baker biopic BORN TO BE BLUE.  The 2015 release starred Ethan Hawke as the troubled jazz musician, Budreau teams up with the prolific actor again in STOCKHOLM. Hawke doesn’t play the real Jan-Erik Olsson, instead Budreau creates a fictionalized version of the bank-robber, a cowboy hat-wearing wildcard named Lars who loves Bob Dylan and the Steve McQueen movie BULLITT.

Noomi Rapace as Bianca & Ethan Hawke as Lars in STOCKHOLM

Noomi Rapace as Bianca & Ethan Hawke as Lars in STOCKHOLM

One of the other main characters is Bianca, played by Noomi Rapace, she’s one of the bank tellers Lars is holding hostage. The wife and mother of two predictably develops a relationship with Lars. Though the reasons for her sympathy towards Lars aren’t really explained or explored.

A scene for the new film STOCKHOLM

A scene for the new film STOCKHOLM

I’m genuinely surprised there wasn’t already a film about this incident.  It’s a compelling true story that isn’t known by most people. But I can’t fully recommend STOCKHOLM, it can’t make up its mind if it wants to be a fun comedy with a rakish anti-hero or a semi-serious docudrama about the origins of a term we all use today. Both Hawke and Rapace are entertaining, but the script falls short.

Gary gives STOCKHOLM 2 out 4 stars **.

The film is playing in select theaters.

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