Without reading an article written about a “wave of moral panic” following the screening of the Swedish short film Shower Boys at a festival in Greece, I might never have heard of it. This follows my recent exposure to reports of a demonstration in Bulgaria against a showing of Close, a 2002 film by Lukas Dhont, by what I see as uneducated, narrow-minded bigots. Both films have the full support of the European Children’s Film Association (ECFA) and mine.
Shower Boys is a short film written and directed by Christian Zetterberg. It follows the narrative of two boys (played by Lucas Andreasson and David Ramirez Knezevic) who explore and test each other’s limitations and masculinity while looking for answers to what it means to be a true man.
The film features a story with a message focusing on friendship and self-awareness. Shot in a realistic manner that is enjoyable and makes the audience remember their childhood experiences (I was part of a triathlon team when I was the same age as the film’s protagonists). Nothing is unethical or pretentious about the story’s narrative, and the primary emphasis is placed squarely on the individual’s relationships with one another and their Coming-of-Age journeys.
Because the filmmakers prioritized young people’s perspectives, the story, while simple, is conveyed in a way that both children and adults can understand and relate to. And if you see the film and find it inappropriate for any reason – the problem is you, not the film.
Shower Boys is available on Prime Video