Friday, November 11, 2011

Ikuisesti sinun / Forever Yours

För evigt din. FI © 2011 Avanton Productions. P: Sonja Lindén. D+SC: Mia Halme. DP: Peter Flinckenberg; Anssi Leino. S: Kirka Sainio. ED: Samu Heikkilä. Production manager: Mina Laamo. 79 min. Distributed by Pirkanmaan Elokuvakeskus with Swedish subtitles by Jani Kyllönen. 2K DCP viewed at Kinopalatsi 6, Helsinki, 11 Nov 2011 (day of premiere).

From the film's website: "Forever Yours is a film about children who have been taken into custody. Through the children, their biological parents and foster parents, the film depicts love in everyday life. The film describes the entire foster care process: a child being brought into a shelter home, a teenager's everyday life in a foster family, and siblings preparing to return to their biological mother, after five years in a foster family."

"Forever Yours explores the invisible bond between a child and a biological parent. Even when a child is taken into custody, the yearning for closeness to the biological parents and need for their approval never seems to disappear. This longing is a form of loneliness that the foster parents struggle to overcome at the end of their tether."

Remarks of the director: "How much love is enough for a child? Are a warm embrace, food and clean clothes enough? Can anyone replace the love of a biological parent? Is it more important to love than to carry a responsibility? I don't know the answers."

"With this account of children taken into custody and their closest circle my aim is to mitigate shame. All the biological parents involved are not heavy duty drug addicts. Increasingly they may be lonely mothers suffering from depression. They could be anyone of us."

"I am not portraying foster parents as heroes. Many of them have been taken by surprise by the challenges involved. Many solicit social security and get disappointed. Some get totally exhausted."

"The breakdown of the relationship between a child and a parent and the yearning to be loved seem to be repeated from one generation to another. Many a parent of a child taken into custody is experienced the same longing for belonging. I presume that the breakdown of the biological bond between a child and a parent can never be completely repaired, but an atmosphere of safety and a chance to be accepted can alleviate the pain. In my movie I want to picture humanity, the difficulty of loving and the necessity of being loved." (The director's remarks, translation mine.)

A documentary film about children and their guardians in overwhelming circumstances. The film itself is facing the overwhelming: situations utterly sensitive, intimate, and explosive. Children abandoned and rescued, sometimes in an atmosphere totally thankless to the guardians, sometimes in a neo-family full of positive emotion and mutual affection. An important film on big themes. I keep wondering about definitions of documentary and role-playing. Today people are more prepared to expose themselves and play themselves in front of the camera in this new world of reality media. Visually Forever Yours is a basic record which is fine for the subject. There is no problem with the 2K DCP in faces and interiors, but nature looks denatured.

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