When Emma meets Cassandra, they initiate a relationship filled with physical and psychological challenges. Emma does whatever it takes to master the rules of the game. Lines are crossed and the stakes get higher and higher. Despite this, Emma can't resist the intoxicating feeling of total control.Written by
Horse or Peacock
(Olle Hagberg / Björn Synneby)
Performed by Pacific! & Fox Machine, Örgryte Girl choir & Youth choir Coro
Choir manager / Claes-Göran Lundgren See more »
Rivalry and friendship between budding girls on a sports team
Swedish first-timer Lisa Aschan's She Monkeys is like Céline Sciamma's 2007 French coming-of-ager Water Lilies/Naissance des pieuvres, about two girls who bond around a challenging female sport, in Water Lilies water ballet, and here, equestrian gymnastics. There is a popular, or more confident, girl, and the more timid newcomer, though the distinction gets twisted along the way when the strong girl turns out not to be invincible. Here it's introverted Emma (Mathilda Paradeiser) and more experienced equestrian Cassandra (Linda Molin), who become playful friends, and later when Emma turns out to be strong and promising, rivals. This is different from the French film in that the two challenge each other to more real wrongdoing, and Emma has a seven-year-old sister Sara (Isabella Lindquist), whose desire to become a woman and precocious lust for her babysitter cousin Sebastian (Kevin Caicedo Vega) leads her to extravagances of her own. In fact when the energy begins to fade in the Cassandra-Emma relationship, Sara comes in handy by providing comic relief that also pushes boundaries a bit.
She Monkeys may push boundaries a bit more, but it is less successful at showing its two "girlfriends" in a real social context than the French film is. Nonetheless She Monkeys clearly establishes that Lisa Ashan, whose first feature this is as Water Lilies was Sciamma's, is a talent to watch with a distinctive style.
Apflickorna (the original title) is the fifth and last of a series of low budget first films chosen by competition for the Swedish Film Institute's Rookie Project. It won the Gothenberg, Sweden festival's Nordic film prize and critics' award. Seen and reviewed as part of the San Francisco film festival of 2011, this debuted in the US at Tribeca in 2010.
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