Mädchen wie die (Girls Like That)
Austrian Premiere April 2020, Vestibül
The girls’ boarding school at St. Helen’s: a special school that only takes 20 girls a year. Obviously, the ones who are accepted must be rather special: exceptional best friends, all of them. But all this harmony gets boring – a photo of Scarlett, completely naked, is a welcome diversion. With the speed that can only be the result of sensation-seeking, the photo spreads from phone to phone. It’s shared, liked and commented on. What’s more, there is speculation as to when and why this photo was taken, and most of all, by whom – and whether Scarlett and he have already …? After all, why else would anyone allow herself to be photographed naked. No one is interested in Scarlett’s version of the story. Togetherness against is always more fun than solidarity with. And even though waiting for the first sexual experience is the number one topic of conversation, a Scarlett, whom everyone knows is doing “it”, is no longer acceptable as a friend: “The problem with girls like that is that their reputation rubs off on the others.” No one thinks to ask how this reputation came about.
But it’s quite different when a naked photo of Russell starts circulating. He isn’t pilloried. Not the way Scarlett is pilloried, because there’s no female solidarity, even among best friends, and young women forget individual responsibility within the shelter of the group. Collective guilt is guilt that can be shared until there’s nothing left. “It’s not as if I were the only one / Everyone got it, not just me, so I wouldn’t have / Exactly, it wouldn’t have changed anything if I”
It is not until Scarlett suddenly disappears that concern spreads – but this realisation is a long time coming.