Incident by a Bank

  • Incident by a Bank

If there’s one short film in this program (which plays through Thursday at the Music Box Theatre) that benefits from being seen on a big screen, it’s Incident by a Bank, a 12-minute, single take re-creation of a failed 2006 robbery. Director Ruben Östlund sets his camera above a public square that’s across the street from where the incident takes place, suggesting an entomologist’s perspective on the action or certain films by Michael Haneke (e.g., 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance). By emphasizing the non-actions of bystanders rather than the actions of the robbers, Östlund creates a potent illustration of Kitty Genovese Syndrome—something that wouldn’t register as sharply had the narrative focused on one character at a time. It’s a fine example of form meeting function.