Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring, Christina Tsiobanelis | Sweden, 2017 | 95 min
Co-presented by Cinema Politica
With her raw and uncompromising lyrics that draw on personal experiences of oppression, misogyny, and intolerance, Swedish hip-hop artist Silvana Imam is one of the loudest and freshest voices in Scandinavian music. Despite her warm reception in her home country, the feeling is far from mutual. The daughter of a Syrian father and Lithuanian mother, Imam identifies as a lesbian, feminist, and anti-racist punk rapper, who condemns Swedish society for its deplorably unchecked xenophobia. Beginning in 2014, the film provides a play-by-play account of Silvana’s meteoric rise from underground artist to icon, complete with its accompanying pressures and insecurities. Silvana also offers a parallel account of Imam’s relationship with Swedish musician Beatrice Eli, an artist fighting a comparable battle on the indie pop front. From stolen glances to full-blown romance, their love story adds an undercurrent of tenderness to this intensely visceral portrait.