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Juck [Olivia Kastebring/Julia Gumpert/Ulrika Bandeira, Sweden, 2018]

Juck (2018)

The final film to screen in the Generation 14-plus short film section at the Berlin International Film Festival 2018, and the programmers might just have saved the best until last with this audacious, punky and empowering performance documentary from Sweden. Juck (Thrust) is a movement in more than one sense; on the one hand, a dance movement comprising of a simple and repeated forward thrusting of the hips, evoking a typically masculine sexual gesture. On the other, it is a political movement, a feminist manifesto conceived of by six young women costumed in matching school uniforms who provocatively thrust along train platforms, in playgrounds, through tourist spots and on social media in an intimidating and mesmeric cavalcade. We witness the interactive performance group, as they gather up an army of pelvis-thrusting females of all ages, races, shapes and sizes, in public and online, and perform the ‘juck’ together as a conceptual assault on the pervading dominance of a chauvinistic patriarchy and that vies to reclaim the sexual space as their own.

This is girl power like you have never seen it. Exploiting the technologies of webcams, selfie sticks and social media, Juck announces itself as a modernistic revolution. Through the confident subversion of dance traditions, these women aim to completely annihilate old-fashioned ideas of female inferiority and the burdens of abuse, be they sexual, racial, intellectual or emotional. Ultimately, Juck exists as a simultaneous form of celebration and protest, combining expressive ingenuity with ferocious physical energy, shaking up the way we think about gender and sexual identity.

This is an important and engaging piece of work that will leave you inspired, bewildered, joyous and thrusting the moment the credits start to roll! Long live Juck!

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