We Are the Best, or Vi är bäst! as it is in Swedish, is the story of three thirteen year old girls living in Stockholm in the 80s who decide to form a punk band. Despite not owning instruments, let alone being able to play them, Bobo (Mira Barkhammar), Klara (Mira Grosin) and Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) are determined to become the band in Sweden and to prove that punk isn’t dead.
It’s tough being thirteen. Bobo, Klara and Hedvig are outcasts at school, misunderstood by their parents and are having trouble figuring out why people are so opposed to them doing what they want to. One of the best things about the film is that the girls don’t care that they are unlike their peers. They don’t mind that they’re strange and continue to dress and act in a way that makes them happy. This makes them a lot more well-rounded than a lot of thirteen year olds and definitely a group for people of all ages to look up to.
Director Lukas Moodysson excellently uses the snowy backdrop to frame the girls’ isolation. There is one beautiful scene where they clamber onto the roof of a block of flats. On the roof they’re away from all the tedious trivialities of teen life and can look down over the miles of snow spread out in front of them in peace.
I was not expecting we are the best to be nearly as funny as it was. The band’s main song is called “hata sport” is about hating PE class and includes lyrics like “children in Africa are dying, but you only care about balls flying”. Every adult in the film is pretty much useless and totally embarrassing. From the youth club leaders who insist on calling them a “girl band” despite being repeatedly told that they are strictly punk to Klara’s parents who are desperate to play clarinet in the girls’ band.
I’ve come away from We Are the Best! with a new-found love for Swedish punk music and an urge to form a band. I’m on the verge of dropping out of school, shaving my head and running off into the snow.