Sensitive Souls

An intimate story of the daily trials of individuals suffering from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Sensitive Souls Cecilie and Jonas are two Danish 21-year-olds who suffer from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, permanent brain damage caused by the consumption of alcohol by their mothers during pregnancy. Despite having FAS, their dreams and aspirations - love, travel, independence - are familiar. Intimate footage shows their struggle to find happiness in spite of suffering a condition that makes the most basic tasks of everyday life extremely difficult.

"Since I started at the supermarket I've been reborn". Jonas likes his job at the supermarket, the buzz of activity, the new faces. Now that he is learning to read, he takes great pleasure in deciphering the labels on products. He likes going home tired and happy after a day at work. At home, he revises for his driving theory test on his computer. He can look forward to road trips up and down Denmark and to Germany with his girlfriend if he passes.

Moving day, and Cecilie sees her new flat for the first time. "I can't get my head round it!" After the initial joy, she becomes overwhelmed by emotion and crumples to the floor, her hypersensitivity getting the better of her. On bad days, she has to draw the curtains and stay indoors, to avoid setting it off. Soon, however, she is relishing the prospect of enjoying evening sunsets from her new terrace: "Wow! I'm going to sit out here every evening and enjoy it."

The snippets of life with FAS presented in Sensitive Souls depict the constant challenges faced by individuals like Jonas and Cecilie. The non-judging lens shows us the ups and downs they experience as they teeter on the threshold of adulthood. Their remarkable will to free themselves of foster homes and carers aand create lives of their own leaves a lasting impression.


The Producers

Danish Doc Production is a Danish production company that aims to develop, finance and produce documentaries. Their films often deal with social, humanitarian and anthropological topics. The company was started in 2003 and owned by the director, cinematographer and producer Anja Dalhoff, who has over 20 years experience in producing documentaries, including development, instruction, finance, production and co-production both nationally and internationally.

Making The Film

Anja started working on this film in 1992, when she first filmed Cecilie, who was 4 months old. She was shaking, crying, and had withdrawal symptoms, when she was placed in an orphanage. She made this film because there is generally very little information on the FAS subject out there, even though it’s a problem that can be prevented. I hope that young pregnant women will take this message to their heart. I also hope that the audience will understand that they should meet the people who suffer FAS with positivity, so they won’t feel harassed or marginalised.

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