My Skinny Sister full movie review - Superb film that bravely tackles a challenging subject
I've very rarely written IMDb reviews but as the only other one here so far is completely unrepresentative of how I've seen audiences respond to the film, it's important to offer another perspective.
The synopsis in the paragraph below reveals some details concerning what happens in the first half of the film.
Swedish teenager Katja (Amy Deasismont) is a prize-winning ice skater, with proud and supportive parents. Twelve-year old slightly chubby sister Stella (Rebecka Josephson) doesn't attract quite the same attention, but aspires to emulate Katja. Their close relationship becomes strained when Stella discovers signs of her sister's eating disorder and wants to tell her parents, but Katja orders her not to, threatening to expose poems that would reveal her crush on Katja's skating coach. When Katja's problems become increasingly alarming and conspicuous, her family strive to help her, but soon find themselves out of their depth.
My Skinny Sister is an absorbing drama, but it's also notable for depicting body image issues ? and a young woman's slide into anorexia ? with rare insight. Writer-director Sanna Lenken's impressive first feature draws upon personal experience, adding authenticity, compassion and humour to a moving story that will resonate with many families. Katja's struggle is seen through Stella's eyes, and Josephson's outstanding performance helps to convey the impact this very serious illness has on a sufferer's anxious family.
It's bewildering that the other review is so poor. When I saw the film at the London Film Festival and later at a South London cinema, it was obvious during a Q&A and a discussion that followed these screenings that both audiences found it fascinating and thought-provoking. The sisters are so convincing that you'll think they are real people, and the actions of other characters are perfectly credible too. You don't have to take my word for it as My Skinny Sister received four and five star reviews in UK national newspapers. Screen International said: "As a depiction of the tug and pull of sibling emotions, My Skinny Sister hits the target with an almost-unnerving accuracy." It has also won awards at four festivals, including the Audience Award at the Gothenburg Film Festival and a Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Berlin judges stated: "The film's unique perspective, stunning performances and challenging theme really touched our hearts... Despite tackling a challenging issue head-on, the filmmakers succeed in delivering real humour and charm as well as uneasy tension and visceral emotion." I couldn't agree more, so please see it and make up your own mind!