Reel Affirmations 2007
Review by Kristina Campbell
Rating: (4 out of 5)
Thursday, 10/18/2007, 5:00 PM
Feature presentation, $0 at Lincoln Theatre
TEEN DRAMA IS in plentiful supply in Sonja, the story of a young woman whose best friend occupies her thoughts far more often than her boyfriend does.
Sonja is in a near-constant state of discord with her single mother, whose inklings about her daughter’s intense friendship with the beautiful and breezy Julia are right on target. As Sonja grows increasingly bored with her earnest boyfriend, Anton, she becomes more tortured by the limits to her closeness with Julia. Her mother, of course, just doesn’t understand — what teenager’s mother does? — and a visit to see her harsh (and sexist) father and his new family is equally unfulfilling. As a result, Sonja is left to find solace from an ultimately unsatisfying source while Julia veers off on a path of disappointing heterosexual typicality.
Set in Germany, Sonja captures painfully familiar feelings of adolescent unrest. It’s a dead-on portrayal of the emotional torture of being on the verge of adulthood, being gay and being hopelessly in love with the straight best friend. The film leaves matters unresolved and conflicted, suggesting an opening for Sonja 2 if this were that kind of film. It’s not, so we’re left to chart young Sonja’s course with our imaginations, perhaps drawing on our own personal histories, perhaps embellishing them just so. — KC