Film Review : She Monkeys

When teen Emma joins a group that is learning to perform gymnastics on horseback, she meets the slightly older Cassandra, a circus rider and the two begin a relationship that is laden with physical and psychological challenges. Soon, lines are crossed and the stakes become higher and higher. Their relationship is pervaded with jealousy and power which turn it into a battle for supremacy and control.

She Monkeys (Apflickorna)

Dir.: Lisa Aschan (Sweden / 2011 / Col. / 84′)

When teen Emma joins a group that is learning to perform gymnastics on horseback, she meets the slightly older Cassandra, a circus rider and the two begin a relationship that is laden with physical and psychological challenges. Soon, lines are crossed and the stakes become higher and higher.  Their relationship is pervaded with jealousy and power which turn it into a battle for supremacy and control.

A rather unpalatable side track of the story of Emma’s precocious younger sister Sara initiating some startling, sexually charged experiments with her cousin and babysitter Sebastian is rather unnecessary and avoidable.

First time director Aschan works magic that is both a pleasure and torment and elicits convincing, naturalistic performances from her young not-pro actors. The film has won the Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival and Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

A film not for the light hearted, it takes a dangerously subverted twist to the coming-of-age genre films. It sure could be unsettling and uncomfortable to many, but its intense complexity could be a challenge to decipher and enjoy.

Wednesday Oct 19th 12.45pm at Screen 4 Metro

 

‘She Monkeys’, has been directed by a first time director, and competes for cash awards at MAMI amounting to USD 200,000 in the International Competition category for first film of directors.

 

About the guest author

Sridhar Rangayan