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NHNew Horizons / Afaq Jadida Competition

She Monkeys

She Monkeys

Original Title: Apflickorna
Director: Lisa Aschan
Sweden | Swedish
2011 | 84min. | Colour
Subtitles: Arabic and English
Format: 35mm
15+
Lisa Aschan lets us know her debut feature will be not quite like anything we’ve ever seen right from the get-go. During the opening credits, surf-rock music rattles as we trace a quivering tension wire in shallow focus. The fitness of that image as a metaphor will become clear as She Monkeys unfolds its layers of muted suspense, while the repeated injection of that rollicking music into the film’s distinctively Scandinavian, blue-gray rural landscapes will continue to confound. Let’s chalk it up to the fact that Aschan has a vision all her own, and lucky for us, she knows precisely how to bring it to life on film.

Part coming-of-age psychodrama, part modern Gothic Western, She Monkeys looks on as two 15-year-old girls, Emma and Cassandra, meet while competing for a spot on the local equestrian acrobatics troupe. At first it seems as though two girls who always communicated best with horses have finally found kindred spirits, but their friendship soon twists into a rivalry that reveals dark dimensions in the girls’ nascent personalities. Meanwhile, with big sister Emma spending most of her time in the stables, seven-year-old Sara is left at home with her babysitter cousin Sebastian, the reluctant recipient of the precocious girl’s womanly advances. The two stories, each driven by remarkably potent performances from its young actors, coalesce into a macabre vision of jealousy, lust, power and control –and the havoc they wreak at the frontiers of womanhood.

A winner at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals, She Monkeys is a quiet film that loudly proclaims the arrival of a bold new filmmaker.

–Joel Hoglund

Director,  Lisa Aschan

Director,  Lisa Aschan

Lisa Aschan was born in Sweden. She graduated from the National Film School of Denmark, then directed for Danish television. Her shorts In Transit (2006) and Goodbye Bluebird (2007) were screened at a number of international festivals. She Monkeys (2011), her debut feature, won Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Cast and Crew

Director
Lisa Aschan
Co-Production Company
Film i Väst, Sveriges Television AB, Nordisk Film Postproduction, Kameraten
Cast
Mathilda Paradesire, Linda Molin, Isabella Lindquist, Sergej Merkusjev, Adam Lundgren, Sigmund Hoven
Production Company
Atmo Produktion AB
Music
Sami Sänpäkkilä
Producer
Helene Lindholm
Foreign Right Sales
Yellow Affair
Screenwriter
Josefine Adolfsson, Lisa Aschan
Editor
Kristofer Nordin
Cinematographer
Linda Wassberg
Art Director
Kia Nordqvist
Sound
Andreas Stranck
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