Not So Petty Theft

Simon, the teen in Swiss indie “Sister,” out today, is as hard-core a capitalist as probably anyone you’ll find in “Atlas Shrugged Part II” (which is also out now, though I haven’t seen it because it’s apparently terrible).

Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein, above) supplements his sister’s low wages by reselling stuff he steals from the wealthy patrons of a ski resort on the mountain that looms above his shoddy apartment building. He finds his clients wherever he can — his schoolmates take the cheap stuff, like gloves; the resort’s workers buy the skis and high-end goggles.

The film follows Simon through a season and, if you watch closely, you can see his prices rise and fall based on his expenses and inventory. This isn’t a kid with a lemonade stand, where the cups and pitchers and the Country Time are all supplied by Mom and Dad. Simon has clearly been at it a while, and Simon is hard-core — because Simon has no choice.

Obviously, it’s wrong to steal stuff. Simon might be stealing gloves from someone who can easily afford another pair, or he might be stealing from someone who saved for years to hit the slopes. But it’s hard to judge him when he and his sister eat stolen sandwiches for dinner — because the alternative is no dinner at all.

“Sister” doesn’t advocate theft, but it certainly wonders how a society can force a person to become a thief.

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The Tag Team