Mai Zetterling

The Girls

The Girls

Mai Zetterling’s cinema reached new heights of exuberant experimentation and fierce political engagement with this pointed and playful touchstone of 1960s feminist cinema. As they tour Sweden in a theatrical production of Lysistrata, performing to often uncomprehending audiences, three women (national cinema icons Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson, and Gunnel Lindblom) find their own lives and marriages mirrored in the complex, combative gender relations at the heart of Aristophanes’s play. Onstage drama, offstage reality, and a torrent of surrealist fantasies and daydreams collide in The Girls, a slashing, sardonic reflection on the myriad challenges confronting women on their path to liberation, and on the struggles of the female artist fighting to make her voice heard over the patriarchal din.

Film Info

  • Sweden
  • 1968
  • 100 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.66:1
  • Swedish

Available In

Collector's Set

Three Films by Mai Zetterling

Three Films by Mai Zetterling

Blu-ray Box Set

3 Discs


The Girls
Bibi Andersson
Harriet Andersson
Gunnel Lindblom
Gunnar Björnstrand
Erland Josephson
Carl, Liz's husband
Frank Sundström
Marianne’s lover
Åke Lindström
Bengt, Gunilla’s husband
Stig Engström
Thommy, actor
Mai Zetterling
Screenplay by
Mai Zetterling
Screenplay by
David Hughes
Based on the play Lysistrata by
Produced by
Göran Lindgren
Director of photography
Rune Ericson
Michael Hurd
Wic’ Kjellin
Bengt Ottekil
Tina Johansson
Costume designer
Ulla-Britt Söderlund
Art director
Charles Delattre
Assistant director
Brita Werkmäster
Marianne Höök
Executive producer
Peter Hald


Mai Zetterling: Cinema Artist
Mai Zetterling: Cinema Artist

A pioneering feminist artist drawn to universal themes, the Swedish director mined the complexity and humor of human behavior in films that courted controversy and cultivated a sense of detachment.

By Mariah Larsson