Saturday 14 October 2023

TV review: Quicksand, Netflix (2019)

Unaccountably this brilliant limited series show doesn’t seem to have made much of an impression on the audience. I don’t remember why I bookmarked it but I’m glad I did. It recounts the story of a girl named Maja (Hanna Ardéhn) who’s accused of murder as well as a list of associated crimes.

The job of the filmmakers is to show what happened in the run-up to the fateful day at Djursholm senior high school. Maja is not alone. Her boyfriend Sebastian (Felix Sandman) is killed, but Sibbe has problems, including a distant father who’s given up on him. Maja refuses to abandon Sibbe when everyone else dose, hence the title of the program.

The drama takes place in the present, which mainly results in shots of the inside of a prison, and flashbacks to fill out the lead-up to the school shooting. It quickly becomes evident that Sibbe’s drug-taking is dragging him down, but along with him Maja follows.

I really enjoyed watching the politics of the young people be outlined. At least in a sketchy fashion this allows you to understand something of where the filmmakers are coming from. There is the vile (Maja’s word) Claes Fagerman (Reuben Sallmander) who is the archetypal capitalist villain, and there is Samir Said (William Spetz) a classmate of Maja’s who is the son of immigrants. The politics of this show are relatively sophisticated, matching the topical storyline.

I once wrote a story on school violence, which happens everywhere. The difference with regard to ‘Quicksand’ is that Claes and Sibbe are recreational hunters, so guns are available. The catastrophic result of this mixture – unbraked capitalism, parental neglect, and a kind of uncontrolled nihilism – is the assassination Maja is accused of being involved in. I learned a lot while watching this program though it is very entertaining.

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