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The White Lioness (1996)

Den vita lejoninnan (original title)
In a world where international terrorism knows no national borders, Wallander and his South African colleagues must prevent a crime that would change the face of history.


Per Berglund (as Pelle Berglund)


Lars Björkman (screenplay), Henning Mankell (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rolf Lassgård ... Wallander
Charlotte Sieling Charlotte Sieling ... Baiba
Cecilia Zwick-Nash Cecilia Zwick-Nash ... Linda (as Cecilia Zwick Nash)
Ernst Günther ... Fadern
Basil Appollis Basil Appollis ... John September
Denise Newman ... Ann
Tshamano Sebe Tshamano Sebe ... Mabasha
Marius Weyers ... Dekker
Dipuo Huma Dipuo Huma ... Miranda
Lee-Ann Van Rooi Lee-Ann Van Rooi ... Matilda
Gideon De Wet Gideon De Wet ... Wiermann
Jesper Christensen ... Konovalenko
Rino Brezina Rino Brezina ... Rykoff
Boel Larsson Boel Larsson ... Tania
Siw Erixon Siw Erixon ... Louise Åkerblom


In a world where international terrorism knows no national borders, Wallander and his South African colleagues must prevent a crime that would change the face of history.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sydafrika. En organisation planerar ett attentat. Spåren leder till Sverige. En man kan stoppa dem. See more »


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Sweden | Denmark | Norway

Release Date:

1 November 1996 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The White Lioness See more »

Filming Locations:

Cape Town, South Africa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The time on the clock when the second black murderer arrives at Copenhagen. See more »


Followed by Brandvägg (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Implausible Thriller That Nonetheless Manages to Hold the Attention
1 September 2015 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Let's face, "The White Pyramid" does contain some manifest implausibilities. We are led to believe that Wallander (Rolf Lassgård) manages to foil a plot to kill Nelson Mandela at the Nobel Prize awards in Oslo on his own without the help of the Norwegian police, the majority of whom stand aside while he climbs up a high tower, takes on a ruthless Russian killer (Jesper Christensen), pursues him down to ground level, then steals a diplomatic car to chase the killer through the countryside before running him over. Although murdering the killer in cold blood, Wallander escapes censure by the Norwegian authorities as he returns home to Sweden to a party organized by his father.

On the way to this climax, however, Pelle Berglund makes some important observations about South Africa in the post-apartheid era. He contrasts the rich European areas of Cape Town with the townships where the chief of police John September (Basil Appollis) resides, thereby proving that governmental reform doesn't necessarily lead to societal change. Although Wallander receives assistance from one of September's black associates, it's clear that the police inspector isn't really welcome in that part of town. The white head of the security services (Gideon De Wet) who follows Wallander to the townships, refuses to go any further for fear of his personal safety.

In Sweden Wallander encounters hired killer Mabasha (Tshamano Sebe), another black South African. While the killer has a checkered history, it's clear that he has been ruthlessly exploited by the whites, who set him up as a patsy to advance their own personal scheme of restoring apartheid. Mabasha knows what they have done to him, yet seems powerless to intervene.

The political chaos of South Africa parallels the personal chaos of Wallander's life. He gets on well with his daughter (Charlotte Sieling), yet it's clear that he's frightened of any close personal engagement. Whenever a scene of intimacy takes place, the sound of intrusive opera music can be heard in the background, showing Wallander's need for some kind of aural distraction, especially when alone with a member of the opposite sex. This represents the thematic antithesis of someone like Britain's Inspector Morse, who used classical music to help him solve cases.

Rolf Lassgård dominates the proceedings, both physically and emotionally. We understand his love for the job, but understand what a risk it represents to his health, especially when he wolfs down a pizza or swigs a beer. No one, it seems, can prevent him sliding down the slippery slope towards a heart attack.

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