- Director: Nils-Erik Ekblom
- Writer: Nils-Erik Ekblom
- Producer: Marko S. Eronen; Tom Norrgrann
“It’s going to be a dry summer,” prognosticates one of the characters in director Nils-Erik Ekblom’s lyrical and poetic coming-of-age tale, Screwed. This remark — tinged with irony and metaphor — soon sets the stage for a distinctly sensual, beautifully shot, and sensitively acted drama about a young gay man on the cusp of adulthood.
Because of an ill-advised rave thrown at home while the adults were away, 17-year-old sexually insecure Miku (Mikko Kauppila) is sentenced to spend the summer with his bickering parents at their private cottage. There, against the tranquil backdrop of the Finnish countryside, he encounters confident Elias (Valtieri Lehtinen), with whom he strikes up an intense friendship, one that leads to physical consummation and mutual self-discovery.
Though familial dysfunction and relationship turmoil are at the heart of Screwed, its protagonist’s sexuality is refreshingly matter-of-fact. Says director Ekblom, “We wanted to show an uncensored version of the daily life of a young Finn on the brink of adulthood, who also happens to be gay. I wanted to make a movie where a character being gay is unremarkable.” He has artfully achieved that goal; also notable about Screwed is its ripe, crisp dialogue, its realistic depiction of a young gay man’s sexual awakening, and the tender and erotic interactions of its two main characters.
Based on the personal experience of its young writer-filmmaker, Screwed displays a sophisticated directorial feel for mood and pacing that makes us eager to hear more from an intriguing new Scandinavian voice. — TIM SIKA