a-hijacking-kapringen-mar-12thGripping fictional account, in documentary style, of the hijacking of a Danish freighter by Somali pirates. Filmed on a ship which had formerly been hijacked, Lindholm (who co-wrote The Hunt) conveys vividly the emotion and terror of the situation. The story is told from the perspective of the hijacked through the eyes of the ship’s cook, Mikkel. The Somalis’ dialogue is not sub-titled, so the viewer is as bewildered as the crew. “ … to find such a radical riposte to the Hollywood thriller … is a genuine surprise” – Michael
Leader, Little White Lies. (Cert 15)
Dir: Tobias Lindholm 103 mins Denmark 2012

Programme Notes

A Hijacking (Kapringen)
Denmark 2012 103mins Cert 15

The crew of a Danish cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates who proceed to engage in escalating negotiations with the authorities in Copenhagen. The hard-nosed Danish owners of the ship are confident initially that they have the know-how and tools to deal with the situation but as time goes on, these beliefs are eroded. Much of the drama is centred not on the ship itself but on the network of families and others affected by the hijacking.

Aboard the ship, the Somalis choose to deal not with the Captain but with the ship’s cook, which enrages Ludvigsen, the CEO of the shipping company. It seems that the situation is much more complex than was at first thought ….

“Full credit to A Hijacking for resisting the siren-call of Hollywood histrionics in favour of the nuts-and-bolts. The actual hijack passes almost unnoticed.” Xan Brooks, The Guardian

Mikkel Hartmann – Pilou Asbaek
Peter C Ludvigsen – Soren Malling
Jan Sorensen – Roland Moller
Omar – Abdihakin Asgar
Connor Julian – Gary Porter

Director – Tobias Linholm
Producers – Rene Ezra, Tomas Radoor
Cinematography – Magnus Nordenhof
Original Music – Hilde Guonadottir



“An amazingly good film – so tense!”

“Excellent drama – the tension was palpable!”

“Powerful and believable!”

“A great thriller with an excellent roller-coaster performance from Pilou Asbaek [Mikkel]. The film was notable for its excellent lighting and sparing use of music that kept up the emotional tension throughout.”

“A gripping tale from start to finish of hard bargaining and huge levels of stress. The cost to the piggies-in-the-middle was hardly counted and how did the adversaries oust each other?”

“Terrific representation of the clash of two cultures”

“An excellent film, providing a real insight into an area of which I had little knowledge.”

“Completely unbelievable and boring. Did the ship have inexhaustible supplies of fuel? The protracted negotiations just couldn’t happen. The Somali ‘pirates’ must have been martyrs. The actors should stick to programmes like Borgen. The film could have done with more subtitles, especially for the radio communications. No more of this rubbish, please!”

“I assumed that if there weren’t any sub-titles, they were speaking Somali or English. Wouldn’t the crew have been a lot thinner by the end?”


A:18, B:4, C:4, D:1, E:0 to give 86%