Turist (Force Majeure – 2014)
written and directed by Ruben Östlund
When I first heard of Swedish drama/black comedy Turist (English title: Force Majeure), I thought it had a thought-provoking premise: A family vacationing in a French ski resort find themselves in the middle of what they perceive to be an avalanche, and the father (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) runs away instead of protecting his wife and kids.
Writer/director Ruben Östlund uses this event as a platform to examine gender and societal expectations. What’s right or wrong in the face of impending danger? Should men have to live up to some sort of hero myth? And even more interesting, can they see themselves as anything but? These are all compelling questions, and Turist steers them towards a not-quite-so-simple climax. But it all goes on for far too long, and Östlund’s thematic concerns start getting a little tiresome. Still worth a look.
Carlos I. Cuevas