Sweat is a sobering portrayal of fame in the age of Instagram | Film of the Week

Sweat is a sobering portrayal of fame in the age of Instagram | Film of the Week

8 July 2021

Fitness influencer Sylwia Zając has almost a million followers on social media. She is a regular at red carpet events and exclusive parties, while hordes of fans flock to her as she steps outside her home in her pink gym attire and impeccable ponytail. Still, Sylwia spends most of her time alone, only looking truly alive in her bite size, post-workout videos on Instagram stories. What she really craves is true intimacy.

Following three days in the life of the fitness influencer, Sweat is a thought-provoking, behind-the-scenes portrayal of a social media celebrity. Director Magnus von Horn is Swedish, but graduated from film school in the city of Łódź and has developed most of his film career in Poland. Sweat, Von Horn’s second feature, involved an almost all-Polish crew. Originally set to premiere at Cannes 2020 before its cancellation, it finally got its release in cinemas and streaming platforms in July 2021.

Praised by critics as one of the first great films on modern influencer culture, Sweat stands out for its raw take on the realities of celebrity. Instead of outright bashing social media, the film quietly makes the audience a part of the protagonist’s everyday life, exposing both the genuine sweat and tears, as well as the fabricated glamour of the selfie spotlight.

Watch on Curzon, MUBI, and in select cinemas in the UK and the US.

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