Emma and Cassandra (Mathilda Paradeiser, Linda Molin), two teenage girls who are competing in equestrian vaulting, develop an equally competitive relationship outside the arena. Lisa Aschan’s directing debut was celebrated by Swedish critics and received awards; while no masterpiece, it does provide an honest look at what it’s like to grow up as a girl. We follow the two teens and their complex love-hate relationship, as well as the younger sister of one of them who notices the sexuality of the adult world but fails to understand it. The filmmakers maintain an ominous, foreboding tone throughout the movie, showing in intelligent ways how difficult it is at that age to handle emotions and disappointments.
2011-Sweden. 84 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Helene Lindholm. Directed by Lisa Aschan. Screenplay: Josefine Adolfsson, Lisa Aschan. Cast: Mathilda Paradeiser (Emma), Linda Molin (Cassandra), Isabella Lindqvist (Sara), Sergej Merkusjev, Adam Lundgren, Sigmund Hovind.
Trivia: Original title: Apflickorna.
Last word: “[The cinematographer and I] like rules. I wanted to think about ‘She Monkeys’ as a modern Western, and so we tried to create the frame for our work, and that frame usually is a genre, so for ‘She Monkeys’, the frame and genre pretty much influenced everything: the editing, the costume design, the photography of the film, and also the sound. This is the way we work. The light and the framing of the film are also influenced.” (Aschan, Medium Rare)