The debut feature of Swedish filmmaker, Lisa Aschan is
a delightful, yet intelligent film that subverts the
coming of age generic picture with a queer twist. It
won Best Film at the Tribeca Film Festival last year,
so you can see the universal themes of young love
14 year old Emma (Mathilda Paradeiser) joins an
equestrian gym team (handstands and vaults whilst the
horse is moving) where her naturalness on the equine
beauties is initially met with trepidation and
jealousy by Cassandra (Linda Molin). Slowly
though a kinship forms between the two teenagers, a
friendship full of looks and unspoken feelings.
The dynamism of their horse riding routines speaks of
their unspoken admiration and romantic affection
towards each other.
There is a reassuring confidence about Aschan's
direction - affection for the characters and a
softness in the depiction of new adolescent
love. Aschan is helped by the equally brilliant
performances by the two teenage girls, and even by
Isabella Lindquist who plays Emma's younger sister,
Sara; herself a young girl a bit confused with her
emotional connections, as she falls for her cousin.
In the same vein as French film Water Lilies (2007) by
Celine Sciamma , about sexual awakening in adolescent
girls She Monkeys has a correct tone and fervour to
succeed in garnering critical attention and some box
office from the arthouse crowd.
The film is distributed by Peccadillo Pictures, a
company that specialises in queer cinema and enjoyed
huge acclaim with the British film Weekend, one of my
films of 2011.
She Monkeys is out on limited release from Friday 18th