Ironic and comic, this film moves us by the beauty of its landscapes, its poetry and above all its subtle tenderness.
Three icons of Swedish Modernist Cinema – Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson and Gunnel Lindblom – star as three actresses combating the dominant forces in their lives.
Taking leave of their families, three actresses embark on a national tour of Aristophanes' Lysistrata. The play – a Greek comedy about women taking matters into their own hands to end a war – is received as a nice night out at the theatre. However, when the actresses realise that the play might not be a comedy after all, the battle between genders spills offstage, and they are each forced to combat oppressive forces in their own personal lives.
Mai Zetterling rounded out the sixties with what was her most audaciously feminist work to date. Upon its release, the film received less-than-favourable reviews from mostly male film critics. A critic for the New York Times once qualified his review as being two-parts sexism and one-part film criticism.
As the Women's Liberation Movement gathered momentum in the early 1970s, the film gained renewed favour as it was selected and opened women's film festivals. Today The Girls is one of Mai Zetterling's most celebrated works.
– Reece Goodwin, Curator (TV & Special Events)
4–20 Jul 2021
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Viewers under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.