The Square


D: Ruben Östlund

TriArt/Plattform (Erik Hemmendorff & Philippe Bober)

Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark 2017

151 mins


W: Ruben Östlund

DP: Fredrik Wenzel

Ed: Ruben Östlund & Jacob Secher Schulsinger

Claes Bang (Christian), Elisabeth Moss (Anne), Terry Notary (Oleg), Dominic West (Terry), Christopher Læssø (Michael)

2017's Palme d'Or winner is a peculiar arthouse movie, blending themes of docudrama, black comedy, social satire and parody into its narrative.

Set in the days building up to a new art exhibit at a Stockholm gallery, presented as a simple square on the ground, where those who stand within it must treat each other equally and without prejudice.

The curator behind the installation of 'The Square' faces various personal and professional issues, including suffering theft via a confidence scam, a sexual encounter with an American journalist and backlash surrounding the publicity campaign of the new art piece.

Strange it may be, but the film will leave you thinking after the closing credits roll. The titular art piece is quite obviously a reference to the European Union, whilst the story also raise profound themes about political correctness, freedom of speech and artistic expression, the latter of which have become increasingly stifled in modern society due to the growth of the former, where people take offensive outcry over social media but seem to stay quiet when it often happens before their very eyes.

Like a lot of art, other perceptions may also be correct, but this is what I took away from director Ruben Östlund's work.


The Square
The Square