Culture  Image + nation spotlight: Dolls

Dolls is an interesting title for Karin Babinska’s latest film, as I wasn’t inclined to think back to my playing-with-dolls days even once during the 99-minute running time. The film is described as the Czech version of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and being a fan of the original I pounced at the chance to review it. Let’s just say this Euro-version should be introduced as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pant-less – if you’re watching a scene where they’re fully clothed, give them a few minutes. Dolls is a coming-of-age theatrical, wherein three best friends and a 14-year-old brother depart on a post-high school summer adventure to Holland. Karolina is a slim, pretty girl who flirts with anything made up of XY chromosomes, unavoidably taking sexual experimentation to the big leagues. Vendula is slightly overweight and struggles with jealousy of Karolina and has self-esteem issues around men. Iska is a contemplative, suicidal girl who discovers that the source of her unhappiness has been the closeting of her true sexual orientation. The trip is expected to be a celebration of freedom, but suddenly evolves into a frenzy of hormones, all-hours intoxication, and poorly thought-out choices. The girls find that the road they’ve been walking together has branched into a fork with three tines, one for each of them to walk separately. Dolls is an openly daring and provocative film, a brute force in the promotion of homosexual filmmaking worldwide. It will make you want to laugh, cry, and take off your pants.