Call Girl

Directed by Mikael Marcimain
  • Sweden / Ireland / Norway / Finland
  • 140 minutes
  • 2012
Winner, Silver Audience Award, Stockholm International Film Festival & 11 Nominations, Swedish Guldbagge Awards

Mikael Marcimain’s debut feature is a fascinating policier inspired by the prostitution scandal that threatened to bring down Sweden’s Social Democratic government in the 1970s.

The story begins a few days before the end of a closely fought and tumultuous election, when it looked like the Social Democrats would be unseated after decades in power. Even worse for the powers that be, dogged detective John Sandberg (Simon J. Berger) is getting closer to linking several government ministers to a prostitution ring run by Dagmar Glans, the Heidi Fleiss of Stockholm (played with gusto by one of Sweden’s greatest acting talents, Pernilla August).

Marcimain and his collaborators recreate their seventies-era setting with both hilarious accuracy (earth tones are everywhere) and incisive socio-political insight. Call Girl paints a scathing portrait of a nation drunk on conspicuous consumption, and of a political class so convinced of its right to power that it can no longer even recognize the difference between governance and self-interest. Depicting Stockholm’s lurid underworld milieu with a chilling lack of sensationalism and creating relentlessly mounting suspense, Marcimain establishes himself as a talent to watch.

Steve Gravestock. Toronto International Film Festival