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  Cycle index  
The Girl
Flickan
dir. Fredrik Edfeldt / Sweden 2009 / 98’
subtitles: Polish and English
Cinema of Sweden

Cast

Blanca Engström, Shanti Rooney, Annika Hallin, Tova Magnusson Norling, Leif Andrée, Ia Langhammar

Film description

The Girlis the exceptionally mature debut by a young Swedish director. It offers an intimate portrait of a child's sensitivity and courage in the nostalgic atmosphere of the 1980s. The director entrusted the title role to the 10-year-old Bianca Engström, a red-haired, tiny girl with a shrewd and calm look. The nameless main character suddenly becomes an 'orphan', when her family resolves to leave for a couple of months to join a charity in Africa. The girl is left alone in a great house in the picturesque Swedish countryside. Keen and distanced, she observes the behaviour of her peers and adults she cannot understand. Loneliness makes her more sensitive, intensifies her experience of the first friendship, freedom and independence, but also the bitter encounter with rejection, treason and petty hypocrisy. With humour and without redundant moralising, The Girl encourages reflection the on responsibility for other people, on the meaning of tenderness and friendship in the process of the growing up of an individual. But above all, this is a subtle and sunny story about a girl, who learns how to swim.

Agnieszka Zając

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