Girls Lost (2015) IMDb

Extent

Seen in 2016.

Categorization

Urban fantasy.

Subject

Three bullied girls in contemporary Gothenburg, close friends from the same block, grow an unknown plant that allows them to change temporarily into boys.

Commentary

The biggest flaw of this film is its focus on Tony, the bad boy partying in Cold War shelters, drinking, smoking pot, breaking and entering for profit, driving illegally, making unmotivated threats, beating people and trying to rape his girlfriend. As a man I feel exoticized by the implicit suggestion that Tony is representative of his sex, or even interesting in the context of a movie about gender targeted at and featuring teenagers. He is not purely a villain, but his humanity is largely limited to his initial soft gaze and his self-loathing over poisoning a bird. He is an outlier. His screen time would have been better spent on typical differences.

Even in other ways, the construction of sex and gender we get here is counterproductive. As boys, the three protagonists are suddenly both interested in and competent at soccer, for no apparent reason. Eventually, Kim dominates the leader of the bullies not because she now understands him but by being more assertive than he is, and hitting a ball with a stick. Boys are the vampires of Twilight (2008), alluring creatures inhabiting a hidden world. That was not the impression I got growing up as one.

The script is also fuzzy on the subject of sexual orientation. Clearly, Kim wants to be a boy and would be better off taking hormone pills than sodding off into the woods for the admittedly beautiful closing drone shot. Her orientation is less clear, and the same goes for Tony. Momo seems to love Kim as an individual regardless of gender, and we get no real info on Bella/Mackan. That’s one of the more successful parts of the film’s mysticist approach, along with the microbiological imagery, the Björk tunes and Momo’s cultish ideas. Ultimately I would have preferred a stronger naturalist influence from Fucking Åmål (1998) with its brilliant humanization even of the male characters, and its treatment of masturbation etc.

fiction moving picture