Dalgren, a trim young diplomat, is flown from Stockholm to an unnamed Latin American country in an effort to mediate between right and left in the wake of a General's assassination. Appalled by what he sees, he realise...展开s that his ethical code is completely inadequate in the face of a voracious and endemic violence. He is transfixed, like a rabbit in the eyes of a snake, by the chief of police, Captain Behounek, only to become aware that this man too is a born loser. Behounek has grown numb from killing, just as Dalgren has grown ineffectual from years fof welfare cosseting. He may be sent, a pawn to safeguard the interests of Swedish industry in the Third World, but he is also responding to a personal challenge-and he fails.
"The Assignment concerns individuals, not causes, and Mats Arehn's direction goes unflinchingly to the heart of the problem. The camera accompanies Dalgren with the same dogged persistence as his unsavoury body-guards; the music of Allan Pettersson strikes a mood of menance and futility. But only a Swedish team could have anatomised the dilemmaof the middleman with such devastating skill. One leaves tha Assignment stirred and chastened, so comprehensively has one been forced to identify with Dalgren, and to perceive in his incapacity a reflection of one's own."(Peter Cowie, 1978 International Film Guide)