The onset of puberty is never an easy time for a young girl. This confusion and growing pains can only be exacerbated when you have an attractive slim elder sister whose sporting ability takes over much of your parents’ attention. In My Skinny Sister, director Sanna Lenken tackles the subject of anorexia and the pressures of sport through the eyes of a third party, Stella (Rebecka Josephson).
Stella is an adolescent trying to come to terms with a newfound interest in boys and an awareness of how her body looks. Her sister Katja (Amy Deasismont) is a talented ice-skater who dedicates every spare moment to practising. She’s being coached by Jacob (Maxim Mehmet) and Stella develops a crush on the handsome German. She comes increasingly concerned about Katja’s health after catching her making herself sick and seeing her collapse after pushing herself to the limit.
Anorexia, body dysmorphia and other eating disorders are rarely tackled in cinema. Lenken uses the well-used tactic of addressing those social issues through the eyes of a child growing up with her own problems. There’s still much stigma around these kinds of disorders and it’s brave film-making to address these issues through this kind of device. My Skinny Sister is a coming-of-age film which succeeds in both being an impressive drama and a way of raising awareness.
My Skinny Sister is released on DVD by Matchbox Films on Monday.