The Girl the Mother and the Demons
Opening April 15
In an apartment, Siri, a single and psychotic mother, locks herself up with her daughter. Demons are in charge here. Ti can hear her mother talk to the demons, she can see her mother’s transformed and closed expression. But Ti can neither see nor hear the demons her mother is talking to. The situation becomes dangerous when the demons entirely take over Siri’s world. Really dangerous. Siri is no longer Siri. It’s as if she has been transformed into a demon herself. In order to survive, Ti engages her imagination to conquer her mother’s demons.
Inspired by experiences from her own childhood, Suzanne Osten’s film tells a story that is as vivid as it is touching about a child’s love for and loyalty to her parent. No matter what.
”When I was a child, there was no one who understood what I was going through. Least of all me. The background to this story is my own. I grew up with a mother who suffered from schizophrenia. As a child, it would have helped me to know that I wasn’t alone and that there was help to get. But how do you tell a story like this to children? In 1998, I wrote a book in which I turned the illness into demons. That made it possible for the child in the story to maintain her love for her mother. The book was then dramatized for the stage by Erik Uddenberg and directed by me. It was a success! Our theatrical company has performed this story about Ti and her psychotic mother in Sweden and abroad for 10 years: in South Africa, Canada, the USA, Paris, London, and other places. The pressing message in the story is to see all the children who actually take care of their sick parents in reality. In every audience, in every classroom, in every town there are children who don’t know that it’s not their fault that their parents are sick. Our script must be the first one to deal with psychoses and schizophrenia from a child’s perspective. At the same time, the film says something important to children whose parents struggle with other types of demons: demanding bosses at work, lack of money, alcohol, low self-esteem, and other problems. The Girl, the Mother and the Demons is both a touching and intriguing film that with beautiful cinematography illustrates the love between parent and child, as well as the love between other adults and children. The actors who play the mother and daughter are mother and daughter in real life, which adds more credibility to their performance.”
– Suzanne Osten
Suzanne Osten (b.1944) is a director, filmmaker, and writer. She is a prominent figure in contemporary Swedish culture and a trailblazer for an entirely new perspective on culture for children and young people. Osten has had the courage to raise tough issues and for decades has incorporated these topics into her work, long before others have dared. She directed the pioneering theatrical company for children and young people, Unga Klara, for more than 30 years. Her most acclaimed films include Mamma, The Mozart Brothers, which was nominated for a Guldbagge in Sweden, and The Guardian Angel, which was selected for Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2015, Osten was appointed Sweden’s first Children’s Film Ambassador by the Swedish Film Institute.