Team Hurricane Is an Arthouse Anthem for Teenage Girls at SXSW
Annika Berg's feature film debut dives into the maelstrom of youth
By Beth Sullivan, Fri., March 9, 2018
There's no denying that hurricanes can wreak havoc. But as Annika Berg, writer/director of Team Hurricane, points out, hurricanes can also be "important vessels" for growth, storms that create just as much as they destroy. Berg's feature film debut explores the figurative storm that is teendom as it follows a group of eight young girls across one summer at a Danish youth club.
Stylistically, Team Hurricane is as experimental as adolescence itself. "I really wanted what I saw as the best from fiction and the best from documentary to merge into one film," explained Berg. Blending heavily stylized visuals and documentary material, Berg's film, for example, juxtaposes pop-culture references – brief clips of a teary Pikachu or Hentai porn – with the girls speaking directly to the camera.
Team Hurricane, at its core, is a collaborative project behind and in front of the camera. Berg's film encourages teenage girls to embrace their artistic and personal expression at a time in their lives when they're most often being told otherwise. "Everybody was producing something for the movie at all times," said Berg, who viewed the girls as "co-creators," explaining she would assign them creative projects like video diaries without a script. "It was very important to me to have them use their own words and to be able to be pretty free."
The more painful themes explored – eating disorders, self-harm, or depression – prove more personal as well. Much of the girls' storylines mirror their real lives. Berg disclosed the actress playing Zara (who receives treatment for anorexia in the film) was receiving the same treatment during shooting. "I'm never afraid of exploiting [them]," Berg said of navigating the girls' personal stories. "They know that I'm just as much vulnerable to the themes that they themselves are."
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