As Ethan Hawke storms into a bank, gun blazing and bad wig flying, it’s easy to understand the origins of the term “Stockholm syndrome.” The phrase, which refers to captives developing an irrational sympathy for their captors, was first coined in 1973 after four hostages acted sympathetically with their captors during a bank robbery in Sweden. The upcoming dark comedy Stockholm is based on that story. Watch the first Stockholm trailer below.
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Stockholm syndrome has inherently horrifying roots: Victims of kidnappings, hostage situations, and other dangerous situations somehow develop feelings of sympathy, maybe even affection, for their captors. But that doesn’t mean that a feature film adaptation of the 1973 bank robbery that originated the term can’t be outright hilarious.
Stockholm, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, feels like such an irreverent black comedy that you wouldn’t expect it to be based on real-life events. But its stranger-than-fiction premise only serves to heighten everything — the emotions, the absurdity, and the sympathy for its central robber played with a zany, unhinged verve by the scene-stealing Ethan Hawke.
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