Directed by Ruben Östlund (Sweden, 2014). This wickedly funny and precisely observed psychodrama tells the story of a model Swedish family – handsome businessman Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), his willowy wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli), and their two blond children – on a family skiing holiday in the French Alps. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche suddenly bears down on the happy diners.
With people fleeing in all directions and his wife and children in a state of panic, Tomas makes a decision that will shake his marriage to its core and leave him struggling to reclaim his role as family patriarch.
Force Majeure questions some of our guarded truths: What if you learn that you are not the person you thought you were?
118 min. | In Swedish, English, and French with English subtitles.
Special thanks to Film Republic, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Icelandic Film Centre, and Magnolia Pictures.
About the director
Ruben Östlund (b.1974, Styrsö) is a director and writer. He has studied graphic design before enrolling at the University of Gothenburg, where he met producer Erik Hemmendorff with whom he later founded Plattform Produktion. An avid skier, Östlund directed three ski films, alluding to his taste for long sequence shots, a taste he structured and developed throughout his film studies and which to this day remains an important trademark in his work. He has become well-known for his accurate portrayal of human social behavior, as well as for his renowned use of Photoshop and other forms of image processing software in his films.
His feature debut The Guitar Mongoloid/Gitarrmongot (2004) won the FIPRESCI Award in 2005. Involuntary/De ofrivilliga premiered at Un Certain Regard in 2008.
The film was then distributed in more than 20 countries and shown at numerous festivals, awarding Östlund international recognition. Two years later he won the Golden Bear in Berlin for Incident in a Bank/Händelse vid bank (2010), a short film in which every camera movement was generated in post-production. The premiere of his third feature film Play (2011) was held in Cannes at The Director’s Fortnight, where he was awarded the “Coup de Coeur” Prize; the film was then shown at numerous other festivals where it was awarded additional prizes and distinctions. Amongst others, Play was nominated for the prestigious LUX Prize of the European Parliament and won the Nordic Council Film Prize (2012), the highest film distinction in Scandinavia.
Force Majeure is Östlund’s fourth feature film, which was a critical favorite and won the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and is Sweden’s 2014 Official Oscar® Entry for Best Foreign Language Film.