Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Drama, Thriller
  • 2012
  • 99 mins

A Hijacking

A Hijacking


Writer/director Tobias Lindholm (R, TV's Borgen) dramatises the psychological toll of piracy on captive seamen and the ship's corporate owners


"Promise me not to get mad, ok," says Mikkel (Pilou Asbæk) down the phone to his wife, "I'll be home on the 17th, not the 15th." Chef aboard the cargo ship MV Rozen, Mikkel is not far from port in Mumbai and counting the days till he will be back with his family in Denmark.

That same day Peter Ludvigsen (Søren Malling), CEO of the Danish shipping company that employs Mikkel, has just swiftly closed a tough negotiation with a rival Japanese firm when news comes in that the Rozen and its international seven-man crew have been hijacked by armed Somali pirates. Insisting, against the advice of corporate security expert Connor (Gary Skjoldmose Porter), on personally handling the situation, Peter enters a protracted dialogue with the cynical hijackers, while the men on board deteriorate and despair.

"I can't have you showing any emotions," Connor warns Peter, precisely articulating the minimalist approach of writer/director Tobias Lindholm (co-writer of Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt and television's Borgen). For the considerable tensions of A Hijacking derive not from melodrama, heroics or triumphalism, but rather from the very lack of these. It is a taut, stripped down affair, shot largely in handheld as though a fly-on-the-wall documentary, while the sense of gripping authenticity is only enhanced by the casting of Porter (a real-life negotiator) and by the filming on a ship that had previously been subjected to actual high-seas piracy.

Lindholm is concerned less with violent action (which is kept almost entirely offscreen) than with the ruinous psychological impact that this has on all those affected, on board and at home. Everyone – even the pirates – may be working towards a homecoming, but any happy ending to this austere odyssey can only come heavily qualified.

Cast & Connections

  • Producer: Tomas Radoor

In a nutshell

Tobias Lindholm's piracy anti-drama is a taut, tense tale of time and trauma.

by Anton Bitel

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Thunder Island

    Thriller. A hit man (Gene Nelson) is hired to kill a former Caribbean dictator. He abducts a couple and their boat to reach the despot's island, but then his plans go badly wrong.

    On Film4: 6 Oct 11:00AM

  • Film4

    The Enchanted Forest

    An old man raises a young boy who became lost in the woods, teaching him about life and nature

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF: five favourites

    Elena Lazic reports from the Toronto International Film festival on her five favourites of the fest. The Lobster Yorgos Lanthimos' success in realising the usually disastrous combination of farci

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF: five favourites

    Manuela Lazic reports from the Toronto International Film Festival on five favourites from the fest. The Witch What if the sorceresses and deadly spells in which people believed so fervently in th

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • Our late-night highlight at 2.20am is South Korean director Hong Sang-soo's comedy-drama Oki's Movie.

  • @Scannain_com @Sandyshark But it's likely we'll show it again in the future.

  • @Scannain_com @Sandyshark Not tomorrow, sorry. This is a late-night repeat after our first play at the beginning of September.

  • "I hope that people can see me for who I really am." Up next at 10.50pm, Amanda Seyfried stars in Lovelace.

  • Later tonight at 12.35am, we're screening @LennyAbrahamson's Irish drama What Richard Did, starring Jack Reynor.