Arrow Video The Lukas Moodysson Collection: We Are the Best! (2013)

After the experimentation and bleak outlook of the past few Lukas Moodysson movies, We Are the Best! is a charming look at growing up young and punk rock in 1982 Stockholm. It’s based on his wife’s autobiographical graphic novel Never Goodnight.

Bobo and Klara are 13-year-old girls ostracized by their peers for their love of punk rock. Androgynous, with short hair and baggy clothes, they endure the wrath of condescending teen boys who play in a rock band called Iron Fist at their youth club. The girls start their own band to irritate the boys, even though neither can play an instrument. Bobo uses punk as a means of escape whereas Klara is angry and political and writes the sardonic lyrics she sings.

Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are young teenage girls dealing with being made fun of for their baggy clothes and boyish looks, particularly a band called Iron Fist. While neither girl has any musical talent, they soon meet a Christian girl named Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) who plays classical guitar and form a band to spite the boys.

The girls deal with the normal trial of growing up — boys and the feelings that come from them — before being booked to play a holiday show in Västerås. After the audience starts to heckle the nervous girls, Klara changes the lyrics of their song “Hate the Sport!” to “Hate Västerås!,” which causes a riot and earns them the respect of Iron Fist and the anger of the adults who run their youth club. As they laugh on the bus afterward, they defiantly keep telling that man, “We are the best!”

I loved this movie, particularly the fact that Hedvig may be the most punk out of all three girls and the conversation about the song “Hang God,” which is a Christian song because you have to believe in God in order to hang Him. The end of this film, with the girls having made an audience outraged through their words and music and their sheer joy at causing such an outrage made me smile so wide.

The limited edition The Lukas Moodysson Collection from Arrow includes high definition blu rays of seven films, as well as interviews with Moodysson and other cast and crew, moderated by film programmer Sarah Lutton. There’s also a two hundred page featuring new writing by Peter Walsh, excerpts from the original press kits for each film, interviews with and directors’ statements from Moodysson and essays on his films from a 2014 special issue of the Nordic culture journal Scandinavica by C. Claire Thomson, Helga H. Lúthersdóttir, Elina Nilsson, Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport and Kjerstin Moody.

The extras include interviews with Moodysson and cinematographer Ulf Brantås, a background on Swedish punk from historian David Andersson, the Q&A from the 2013 London Film Festival screening with Moodysson and stars Liv LeMoyne and Mira Barkhammar and a trailer.

You can get this set from MVD.

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