Noisy girlhood // ‘We Are the Best!’

We Are the Best! is a warm and funny story of 3 teenage girls and their everyday experiences of resisting authority and starting a punk band in 1980’s Stockholm. The film shots are energetic but observative; lingering on Bobo’s face as her mother’s friends ruffle her short hair or catching a knowing smile between the young punks who can play guitar better than their male youth leaders. Moodysson’s cinematic approach allows viewers to get to know the characters through subtle expressions and daily snippets of life rather than big dramatic events, resulting in a perceptive rather than cliché coming-of-age story.

The young characters refuse to be patronised, intimidated or silenced, exploring the conflicts of prescribed ‘girlhood’, and contradictions of being both treated (and dismissed) as female yet not living up to its social expectations. The film is about the desire to make noise, both musically and socially, through their homemade haircuts, backchat to boys, and disruption of the structures that attempt to keep them quiet. It is about the noise of growing up and struggling with expectations, both of capitalism and PE class.

We Are the Best! is a refreshing reminder of the anarchy and political potential of angry young femininity and its expressions. It is a celebration of female noise.

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