Swedish journalist, based in Stockholm, that has worked both with news journalism and music/ culture shows on Swedish Radio, also on Swedish Television. Is currently writing about film. This is her first documentary for TV. It was awarded The best documentary for youth, shown on Swedish Televiosn.
Making The Film
After more than ten years as a free lance journalist, its easy to get a bit laid back when it comes to ideas of what you want to do and what you really go for. But when at a November dinner with friends I heard about the journey that Alice, Nanna, Mimmi and Linnéa were planning with their families, I felt it immediately in my stomach; that feeling that you need to get hooked. I wanted to go with them.
Then a long process started, talking to Swedish Television and some other companies. Although I had been working both on radio and TV during my years as a journalist, it getting a commission was a hard job. This was my first documentary for TV. Why should they put money in me? But almost everybody I talked to said they would love to see this documentary..! and that was the thing that finally made the project come true. (And the fact that we made it almost for nothing). Questions about identity, origin and the feeling of not knowing the place were you once belonged, that is something we all can relate to, adopted or not.
It turned out to be a real adventure. Neither the girls, nor their parents, knew how they would react when they got to China. The photographer, Niklas Forshell, and I, we just hung on. Took the days as they turned out, followed the girls as closely we could. We tried to interfere as little as possible. And this was very important to us, we thought that this journey was so important to the girls, that the fact that a camera followed them shouldnt be a problem. So, you could really call this a true documentary.
When we were in Shanghai a Chinese TV team wanted to film the girls, but the parents said no. Out of the same reason the first trip back to their native country and their origin was far too fragile and important than being able to be on Chinese TV.
Then it was this question whether we were welcome or not to the orphanage. The girls said to themselves before that they probably were not welcome to visit. They had written letters to the orphanage directory, but hadnt got an answer. Anyway, the families went the long way from Shanghai, eight hours to the city of Zhangjiagiang were the orphanage is situated.
Still, today, two years later, I get goose-pimples, when I think of that day. The feeling of being lost ,daughters coming back, getting presents, and also the feeling of being known by name and see photos of themselves on the other side of the world. But also questioning what their life would be like I they hadnt been adopted.
Its hard things to deal with when you are eleven years old, sitting next to each other at a restaurant, not being able to speak with the kids that maybe remember you and possibly envy your opportunities and your new life.
My favourite part of the film, that is the sequence when the girls leave the orphanage. They are sitting in the bus, their hair is streaming in the wind from the open windows, and you can feel as a spectator the infinite sense of freedom. You can go wherever you want. You can do whatever you want with your life. And your life could have been so much different.