Don't Worry, It's Just A Phase


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The debate surrounding homosexuality whips up the same storms - nature versus nurture. The title of this work-in-progress encapsulates the popular myth that gayness is like baggy chinos, or shaved hair, something you go through as a teenager before moving on and voting Conservative.

Of course, the same sex hard core believes that you are who you are and nothing is going to make any difference. "Cecilia Neant-Falk was 14 when she discovered that she was lesbian," reads the movie blurb. You wonder (briefly), what did she feel when she was 13?

That moment of discovery deserves an entire movie to do it justice. How can you tell? What makes one gender more desirable than another? When you are abubble with hormonal rebellion and so oversexed you don't know what to do, whose to know what doesn't turn you on, let alone (God forbid!) what's right.

Neant-Falk's concept is better than the result. Give a video camera to three teenage girls and let them record their thoughts over the next three years. This is small town Sweden, where life can be achingly dull.

Of the lesbians-in-bud, only one has a sense of humour. The others are either sad, or angry. What comes across is a powerful feeling of isolation, which must have been unbearable in a small community before the worldwide web offered access to chat rooms and e-pals.

The home movie look of the film adds little to the reality of the moment. What lies beneath is confusion and anguish. The girls' confessions have an edge-of-night threat to them, as if life, trapped by the fear of parental disapproval, is over before it has begun.

Coming to terms with sexuality is tougher than coming to terms with responsibility, as the open road to adulthood beckons. In addition, these girls have to cope with the petty minded, self-righteous attitudes of their morally arthritic betters at an age when everything they do, or think, is dismissed as "just a phase."

What is missing is some way of knowing how they made it through.

Reviewed on: 02 Mar 2004
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Don't Worry, It's Just A Phase packshot
Documentary tracks three Swedish teenage girls as they come to terms with their sexuality.
Amazon link

Director: Cecilia Neant-Falk

Year: 2003

Runtime: 74 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: Sweden


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