A fierce and vulnerable woman,Silvana is a portrait of a young musician with a powerful message and a personality difficult to define in plain words.
Bianca-Olivia Nita
Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: March 5, 2018

Silvana Imam is captivating. She is a white rapper, a feminist and a rebel. The film about Sweden‘s most recent pop icon offers an insight into Silvana‘s complex personality, while also showcasing the artist‘s significance for the Swedish music scene and LGBT community. She can be arrogant and she can be sensitive. Her words, her music and everything she stands for echoes her inner life and struggles. Not everyone likes her, but – sure thing is – everyone will remember her. Silvana is genuine and her feminism is not wrapped in sophisticated concepts, but it’s instead raw and originates in a life lived. She stands against racism and discrimination, her message is not delivered softly, and my guess is, she’s come to stay.

Multiple identities

With a Latvian mother and a Syrian father, Silvana grew up in Sweden, not looking like a typical girl and not feeling like one either. Starting the journey towards becoming her true self meant taking ownership of her various identities as a lesbian woman and an immigrant, with both parents coming from conservative cultures. She has to fit in a new society which seems liberal by comparison to others, but where at the same time, stereotypes of women and how they should look and behave nonetheless exist.

The camera follows Silvana over several years and captures her performing, expressing her ideas, partying and screaming out loud in the streets. She seems arrogant and overly dramatic at times, but before you jump to your conclusions, Silvana will take you by surprise when you discover her vulnerable heart, her self-doubt and her worries. Silvana is difficult to pin down. She is all these identities in one person, clashing against one another at times, and sometimes just blending together – creating the music that made her name known.

«The voice of this young musician demands to be heard.»

Her relationship with musician Beatrice Eli evolves as the film unfolds and eventually the two become an iconic couple – potentiating each other’s talents and self-confidence. Winning awards, performing in front of large audiences and being recognised on the street: Silvana is a celebrity. Yet for someone outside of Sweden it is difficult to realise just how famous she actually is. Despite the fact that her celbrity is a vehicle to bring her messages forward, the film is not about her fame, …

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