Movie Review: We Are The Best!

by Erika W. Smith

The trailer for Swedish festival favorite We Are The Best! promises a film “for everyone who is 13 years old, everyone who will be 13 years old, and everyone who used to be 13 years old.” It’s also a film that will convince you that 13-year-old girls are, in fact, “The Best.”

Based on a semi-autobiographical graphic novel by director Lukas Moodysson’s wife Coco Moodysson, the film follows 13-year-old punks Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) as they start a band with borrowed instruments and no musical experience, then convince their classmate Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), a shy Christian who plays classical guitar, to join them. Despite their differences, the trio quickly becomes inseparable as they navigate everything from first boyfriends to first DIY Mohawks. Though it’s a Swedish-language drama set in 1982 Stockholm, We Are The Best! will remind many viewers of the riot grrrl movement of the ’90s, especially in scenes where they politicize their songs (one compares gym class to the Cold War) and insist that they are not a “girl band.” Hilarious, touching, and thought provoking, this is a joyous celebration of punk music, female friendship, and, most of all, 13-year-old girls. –Erika W. Smith

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