Girls Lost (Pojkarna)

An offbeat Swedish slice of magic realism in which three female, teenage, bullied misfits are transformed into male ‘equivalents’ by way of a strange plant. I have placed the word ‘equivalents’ in quotation marks above because one of the points being made here is that when these girls experience life as young men, they are treated in an entirely different way by their peers; they become more popular as boys, and a certain strand of aggressive behaviour stays with them when they transfer back to their original state (the effects of the plant being only temporary, y’see, and thus causing a little friction when one of the young women starts to become addicted to her dual life ‘as a boy’). A well-acted and well-handled outlier, Alexandra-Therese Keining’s third feature examines gender issues, gender fluidity, stereotyping and relationships in an intriguing fashion. (***)