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Clark Director Jonas Åkerlund Discusses Criticism Over Netflix Series



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Clark director and producer Jonas Åkerlund is addressing commentary that his series, based on Clark Oloffson, is showing the Swedish criminal in a positive light. Oloffson, an infamous figure in Swedish culture, has spent more than half his life in prison for sentences including attempted murder, robbery, and dealing narcotics. He is most known for his involvement in the 1973 Norrmalmstorg robbery where he and ex-cellmate Jan-Erik Olsson held hostages at a bank for five days. In a weird twist, the hostages seemingly bonded with the robbers and their refusal to testify against them coined the phrase “Stockholm syndrome.”

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When asked if he felt that the series was glamorizing a criminal, Åkerlund told Variety:

Åkerlund went on to discuss that even loved ones questioned his decision to work on the series:

Olofsson, now 75, committed crimes through the 1970s and 1980s. The six-part series follows his life, from birth until the late 1980s, when he is sentenced for drug trafficking. The story is told from Oloffson’s perspective where comes across as charismatic and alluring to women. While Oloffson did not participate in the creation of the series, Åkerlund and the team behind Clark did rely on books Oloffson penned about his life. The series is currently streaming on Netflix and stars Bill Skarsgård as the titular character, Vilhelm Blomgren, Hanna Björn, Christoffer Nordenrot, Adam Lundgren, Björn Gustafsson, and Isabelle Grill.

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Jonas Åkerlund is a film and music video director, writer and musician. Before the debut of his feature film Spun in 2002, he strictly worked on music videos. In 1998, his video for Madonna’s Ray of Light won a Grammy Award. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Best Long Form Music Video Grammy for directing Madonna’s The Confessions Tour DVD. He won another Grammy in 2014 for Best Music Film for his work on Paul McCartney’s Live Kisses concert film.

In film, he is most known for his work on the 2018 horror film Lords of Chaos, a fictionalized story about the Norwegian black metal scene in the 1990s. The film received positive critical reviews, but members of the metal community have spoken out against it, particularly those who were depicted in the film who felt they were shown in a negative light.