A Truthful Account of the Teenage Generation

in 50th Sydney Film Festival

by Richard Kuipers

Thirty-one year-old Swedish filmmaker Cecilia Neant-Falk’s documentary “Don’t You Worry It Will Probably Pass” (Du Ska Nog se att Det Gar Over) received its world premiere at Sydney and was awarded a Special Mention by the FIPRESCI jury. The jurors were particularly impressed by the use of digital camera technology to encourage new approaches to the authorship of documentary film.

“Don’t You Worry It Will Probably Pass” charts the experiences of three teenage girls who responded to an advertisement placed in an internet chat room by Neant-Falk. Reading “Are you there? A girl attracted to both boys and girls?” the ad was the same one Neant-Falk had placed in a youth magazine as a 14 year-old in 1986. From the 80 responses she received, Neant-Falk selected three girls, each of whom was given a video camera with which to record their feelings over a four year period.

Covering similar territory explored by Gillian Armstrong in her on-going documentary series initiated by “Smokes and Lollies” and “14’s Good, 18’s Better”, Neant-Falk takes the concept one step further by using technology in a creative way to bring her subjects as close to the authorship process as currently possible. My, Natalie and Joppe have recorded their thoughts and experiences without the prompting of interviewer’s questions and what emerges are truthful, funny and ultimately touching portraits of three teenagers coming to terms with their emotional and sexual feelings. By granting these rights and editing the girls’ testimonies in a sympathetic and uplifting manner, “Don’t You Worry…” is a documentary that teenage audiences, regardless of sexual inclination, can embrace as being a truthful account of their generation, as told by their peers. Within Queer Cinema, “Don’t You Worry…” also represents an exciting stylistic breakthrough that separates it from the many worthy but unadventurous entries in the “coming out” sub-genre. By handing the means of production over to the participants and editing the results, MTV-style, to a blasting soundtrack of girl-band rock and roll (itself reason enough to see the film), this leaps from the screen and invigorates its audience with irrepressible energy and the priceless commodity of credibility.