Shorta – Arabic for ‘police’ – offers up a story that’s as dense as they come, taking few prisoners and showing close to zero mercy. Co-directed by Frederik Louis Hviid (director of the Follow the Money series) and Anders Ølholm (screenwriter of the Antboy films), this chilling drama shows modern-day Denmark as a multicultural, segregated society with tensions to match.
A black teenager lies in hospital, the latest victim of police brutality. Tensions have never been higher, and there is the anticipation of riots on the streets when Jens Hoyer (Simon Sears) is sent out on patrol with hardened veteran Mike Andersen (Jacob Hauberg Lohmann). As they enter Copenhagen’s notorious Svalegården ghetto, news of 19-year-old Talib Ben Hassi’s death in police custody spreads amongst the community. When a needless stop and the search become an act of humiliation, events escalate quickly, and our two anti-heroes are abandoned to their fate in a no-go zone where the violence is out of control.
Shorta couldn’t be more timely. It confronts police brutality, racial tension and social division via a compelling thriller that proudly carries the influence of Walter Hill and John Carpenter. An impressive first feature – a heady mix of nailbiting tension and social critique make for one of the most gripping cinema experiences of the year.