Based on Jan Guillou’s scandalous best-selling autobiographical novel from 1981, Mikael Håfström’s EVIL focuses on sixteen-year-old Erik, whose life has been plagued by violence. Tormented by his abusive stepfather, he has hit back in the only way he knows: by giving a good thrashing to anyone in his way. When he is expelled from public school, Erik is told he has one last chance to make something of himself and is sent to Stjärnberg – a prestigious private school. This time, he is determined not to mess up.
Erik soon discovers he has merely substituted one prison for another. Stjärnberg is run by a rigorous and unjust code, enforced by senior students rather than the faculty. Soon, Erik is faced with a dangerous choice: confront his oppressors and risk expulsion, ignore them and suffer their humiliation, or let his friends suffer for him.
Guillou’s novel startled everyone when it was released – he was best known as a pop mystery writer. Håfström’s movie version has the same sort of incendiary power.
Mikael Håfström was born in Lund, Sweden and studied film at the University of Stockholm and at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has written and directed numerous series and films for Swedish Television, including HOUSE OF SHADOWS(1996) and the short film ANGEL OF DEATH (1997). He made his feature directing debut with VENDETTA(1995); his second feature film, DAYS LIKE THIS(2001), was nominated for several awards in Sweden. EVIL (2003) is his third feature.