The director of Together and Lilya 4-ever is back on form with an energetic rough and tumble story of three rebellious teenage girls who form a punk rock band to defy the stifling conformity of early-1980s Stockholm. Adapting his wife Coco’s graphic novel, Moodysson affirms that an adolescent girl’s bedroom is as good a place as anywhere to find the ingredients for personal development and political foment as he sketches the friendship between Klara and Bobo, who use punk ideals and music to process the narrow thinking, variable parenting, inconsistent authority, and sexism they encounter in their lives. The action unfolds in a loose series of episodes during which the girls define and give voice to their untested feminist, spiritual, and political ideas, although they can be just as intolerant and conformist as their peers and parents—they recruit classmate and gifted guitar player Hedvig, ostracized for being a devout Christian, but insist that she renounce her religion! Returning to his roots, Moodysson depicts the exploits and follies of his unruly trio with warmth and affection, while cheerfully celebrating the DIY ethos and the urge to revolt.
Film Comment Selects, 2014
Toronto International Film Festival, 2013
“With fantastic performances by the three leads (only one of whom is a professional actor), the film fluidly alternates between the messiness and warmth of female friendship.” —Violet Lucca, Film Comment
“A joyous, heart-swelling story of youthful rebellion. A delightful return to form for Lukas Moodysson.” —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“A joyous time capsule. Captures the DIY empowerment of punk rock and the bond of female friendships in one blissful swoop.” —David Fear, The Village Voice
“Vibrant, hilarious and poignant. The best film in years from one of the planet’s greatest filmmakers.” —Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine