STOLEN on Netflix is a new crime drama from Sweden (org. title: Stöld). More precisely, the heartbreaking story plays out in the Sámi community. Based on real events. Read our full Stolen (2024) movie review here!

STOLEN is a new Netflix movie from Sweden that takes place in the Sámi community, so mostly Saami is spoken. Having this setting reminded me of the most recent True Detective setting. The two stories have nothing in common, except featuring indigenous people struggling to keep going. 

In this crime drama from Sweden (org. title: Stöld), the plot plays out over more than a decade. A young girl witnesses something brutal as a child, but also experiences that the local Swedish police isn’t too interested in working the case. The runtime is 1 hour and 41 minutes, which feels a bit too long.

Continue reading our Stolen (2024) movie review below. Find it on Netflix from April 12, 2024.

The hatred of man

Stolen is based on a novel (I’ll get back to this later) and in this movie adaption, we see a young woman, Elsa (Elin Kristina Oskal), as she struggles to defend her indigenous heritage.

In fact, we meet her when she’s just a girl and witnesses a Swedish man (Martin Wallström of Mr. Robot) killing her reindeer calf. And yes, there are several depictions of animal harm, which is something I loathe deeply!

But why would this Swedish man kill a baby reindeer? Well, it turns out he’s just doing what he feels entitled to. He feels that the Sámi people are getting too much and this is his little rebellion.

Ten years down the line, the girl is a young woman and the man is none the wiser. They’re still both living in a world where xenophobia is on the rise and the constant and escalating climate change is threatening Elsa’s family’s reindeer herding.

We see young Sami people committing suicide when they can no longer bear the collective desperation. This is a story of revenge, but also of the struggle to just exist in a world where others want to be rid of you and your kind. And they feel that this is a very fair and just desire to have.

Stolen (2024) Netflix Crime-Thriller

Based on real events

While the story in Stolen may not be a direct depiction of something that happened, it is very much based on real events. The Sámi living in the region of Sápmi is located in the most Northern part of Sweden, Norway, and Finland.

While they do their best to be integrated when needed, they also still work the land as they have for centuries. Their main profession is reindeer herding, and they speak Saami now, though it was outlawed for quite some time.

Watching these indigenous people struggle to defend and maintain their heritage and traditions is brutal. Not least because we’ve seen white people try to eradicate indigenous people in the exact same way all over the world.

From Native Americans in North America to Aboriginals in Australia, and here the Saami in Scandinavia and Finland. Even my native Denmark has a brutal past of doing this to the people of Greenland.

As we’ve seen in more recent movies and series from North America, Australia, and Scandinavia, it is still happening within this past century and even now.

Watch Stolen on Netflix now

Elle Márjá Eira is the director of Stolen (org. title: Stöld) and this is her feature film directorial debut. She was part of The 12th Man in the music department and has written and directed several short films. The screenplay comes from Peter Birro, who has many acclaimed movies on his resume.

Stolen is based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same title by award-winning author Ann-Helén Laestadius. She is also attached to the project as an executive producer, so she’s part of the Netflix adaptation in that sense as well.

This is also a story that focuses on the tensions that come as a result of modern ideas and traditional culture not being able to co-exist. Especially when deeply rooted in patriarchal structures. In most cultures, someone along the line has realized that the best-suited should lead. Regardless of gender.

As we see in Stolen, the alternative is having sons who feel forced to do something that they don’t want and daughters that will never be good enough. Even when they are the best at the family business.

Stolen is out on Netflix from April 12, 2024.


Director: Elle Márjá Eira
Script: Peter Birro
Elin Kristina Oskal, Martin Wallström, Lars-Ánte Wasara, Ida Persson Labba, Pávva Pittja, Ingahilda Tapio, Magnus Kuhmunen, Simon Issát Marainen, Niilá Omma, Anne Lajla Westerfjell Kalstad


A young woman from Sweden’s Indigenous Sámi community tracks down a killer to settle a personal score in this emotional drama based on real events.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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