Girls Lost

DIRECTOR: Alexandra-Therese Keining

West Coast Premiere

Some narratives are so bracingly unique that they demand to be seen. Such a tale is Girls Lost, a delectably twisted fairytale of gender fluidity directed by rising Swedish auteur Alexandra-Therese Keining (Kiss Me, Frameline36). Based on Jessica Schiefauer’s popular young adult novel Pojkarna, which won the prestigious August Prize in 2011, the film centers on three teenage outcasts—Kim (Tuva Jagell), Bella (Wilma Holmen), and Momo (Louise Nyvall). Mercilessly bullied at school, the girls seek solace in their off-kilter friendship and daydreams of carefree existence as boys.

One day, daydreams become reality: the girls imbibe the nectar of a peculiar plant they’ve been growing in Bella’s greenhouse and are temporarily transformed into boys. Delighted by their new bodies, and the spectacular mischief-making these bodies enable, the girls are unprepared for the woes that lie ahead—especially for Kim. Becoming dangerously enamored with her newfound identity and developing a mad crush on troubled bad boy Tony (Mandus Berg), Kim finds herself within the jagged brambles of homoerotic entanglements, as impossible decisions loom ahead.

Unfurling like a thriller, and enhanced by an intoxicating soundtrack of Euro-trance, Girls Lost dares to take its fantastic plot seriously, plunging us deep into an otherworldly realm of gender nonconformity with artistic aplomb. This luscious supernatural tale of finding one’s true self also raises serious questions about identity, igniting our passionate attention: “If you are blind to what is different, this story is not for you. But if your eyes are open, you should listen carefully,” the film declares in its opening exhortation. Take heed, and open those eyes to the dark and magical wonders of Girls Lost—self-liberation lies somewhere down the shadowy serpentine path.

— Curran Nault

In Swedish with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F113

Co-presented by:

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