Dark Blossom Review: Serving Gothic Realness

A portrait of punks and self-expression, complete with killer 'dos

2 mins read

Meet Josephine, Nightmare, and Jay. They’re three Danish goths in their early 20s who are learning how to feel confident in a society that doesn’t embrace their dark style and satanic spirit. Dark Blossom is a rebellious coming of age story with a defiant tone and proudly counter-cultural essence.

Blossom is a unique and offbeat portrait of belonging. The doc by Frigge Fri takes audiences into the lives of three young Danes who proudly own the feeling of being an outsider. The three goths at the film’s core are products of another era, yet they create their own surrogate family by uniting in their styles, ’tudes, and killer looks.

The film follows the trio they tattoo each other, get high and/or drunk, and share sketchy soda pop in pizza joints. Most of the time, however, they’re modelling their latest hairdos and serving anti-establishment realness. Josephine has a wicked wig game and sports different ’dos in nearly every scene. Nightmare (not the name his parents gave him), incorporates his goth aesthetic with his queerness to create androgynously gloomy stylings. His near-comically tall mohawk, however, injects a shock of neon to each ensemble.

Dark Blossom observes how even the most eccentric and seemingly subversive youths have a typical story. These young adults enjoy larks in fields, albeit while poking dead animals and bringing them home to boil, and face the same anxieties about conformity that even the squarest and most straight-laced kids on the block do. In giving the three goths the space to celebrate their individuality, however, Dark Blossom demonstrates the power of being seen. It lets its subject march to the beat of their own drums or, more aptly, stomp on the drums, just because it’s a fun thing to do. Here’s one for the iconoclasts and misfits!

Dark Blossom screened at Hot Docs 2021.

Please visit the POV Hot Docs Hub for more coverage from this year’s festival.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association.

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