OK, step away from the screen. Back up a bit, go to the door and head outside onto the road. Wait until a truck hits you. Done that? If you have, then you know how this film feels.When boys hassle each other at school, they just beat the hell out of each other. That's OK - and sometimes even funny - because those injuries are generally easily healed. Girls on the other hand tend to hold back on the physical violence and tend to something far more damaging.
They use psychological violence against an unfavoured member of a group. This is far scarier since the scars from this sort of injury are much more difficult to recover from. It's a practice that is not limited exclusively to females, yet it does seem to be the preferred method for girls growing up - Damn evil school girls.
The scars inflicted can last well into adulthood. Being the perpetrator of this type of act is one of the cruelest acts one person can do to another. In Show Me Love, a young girl has to deal with this type of cruelty.
Agnes is a teen who has just realised she's a lesbian. That's great for her because it's important to realise things like that, but it's also bad because pretty much her entire school knows too. She's the brunt of many a cruel snide remark that culminates in another girl, Elin, kissing her as a bet.
This seems to be doubly cruel since Agnes has a desperate crush on Elin. Yet thankfully, there may be other reasons why Elin has directed her attentions (albeit her cruel attentions) towards Agnes.
This intensely personal, aching, glory of a film grabs you in the chest and twists to you 'till you bleed. The honesty and raw emotions on display here will knock you off your feet.
Show Me Love is a dogme film - A filmmaking practice that I have regarded suspiciously. This back to basics film-making technique has it's heart in the right place, but to take it to the extent demanded of Dogme seems unnecessary and myopic. I mean really, will using a tripod destroy film making as we know it?
However, in Show Me Love, Dogme does seem to have a clear benefit. It gives rise to stunning, natural performances. With the two leads giving the type of performances to make you feel that you are watching the real thing.
The Dogme method has facilitated a very natural, even documentary feel, to the film. The effect of this is that the emotions of display have an added strength and intensity.
Carlsson performance as Agnes' father is also excellent as he desperately tries to help Agnes out of her depression, alienation and confusion.Show Me Love is a about coming to terms with who you are. Thanks to the sensational performances and the realistic style this is a wonderous little film.