Our Rating: ★★½☆☆
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: Sixteen year old Sonja finds herself in love with best friend Julia.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2006
Duration: 72 min
Language: Germany/German
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Kirsi Liimatainen
Writer: Kirsi Liimatainen
Starring: Sabrina Kruschwitz, Julia Kaufmann, Nadja Engel, Christian Kirste, Joachim Latsch, Gundula Koster, Arthur Prost, Jakob Kraze, Muric Eldin, Norbert Hulm

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SonjaThe coming of age film has long been a staple of gay and lesbian cinema. Sonja falls squarely into this genre, as a 16 year old German girl (Sabrina Kruschwitz) finds herself in love with best friend Julia (Julia Kaufmann). The story was inspired by writer/director Kirsi Liimatainen’s youth in Finland.

Sonja is lonely, bored, depressed, and thinks her mother will never understand her. Mom does sneak a peak into her daughter’s diary, disapproving of any lesbian leanings and causing even more tension between the two. Julia, who drives a moped, is seemingly the only bright spot in her friend’s life, but her main focus seems to be making out with boys and looking forward to eventually losing her virginity to one of them.

Sonja’s hopes are centered on a summer trip to the seaside to visit her father, planning to spend some alone time with Julia, who is joining her. As the final blow, Julia ditches her at the last minute to spend time with the new boyfriend (with whom she finally did the deed). Sonja matches her by sleeping with her father’s much older neighbor (ewww), running back to the city as soon as she can, only to find herself alone again.

The film is filled with angst, from the perspective of bored and tortured Sonja, who only cracks a smile in Julia’s presence. We as viewers wait for something, anything, to happen between the girls. Sonja’s life is emotionally isolated, but not especially unique or interesting. Perhaps some teens who identify with her predicament will find that the story resonates. (AB)