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Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2042-7891
  • E-ISSN: 2042-7905



This article analyses Ruben Östlund’s film Play (2011) in the context of the current debate on race, racism and multiculturalism in Sweden. It discusses the social roles in Play as an effect of existing racial and class segregation, arguing that the film’s critical gaze is directed mainly towards the liberal white discourse, on the one hand politically correct and tolerant, on the other hand closed to difference. The black boys’ petty crime represents a subversion of the liberal white hegemony in which they are included only as different and ‘Other’. Östlund also dares to ask the both pertinent and most taboo question about multiculturalism in Europe today: What are the negative effects of drastic demographic changes?


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): liberal multiculturalism; Play; race; Ruben Östlund; Swedish film; whiteness
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