Daughters

Jenifer Malmqvist, 77 min, Sweden.

Synopsis (short)

Sofia, Hedvig and Maja grew up with grief. They were only 8, 10 and 16 years old when their mother took her own life. In Daughters, we meet the sisters as children and in their early adult years, as they reflect on what it is like to come of age in the aftermath of Trauma.

Synopsis (full)

Sofia, Hedvig and Maja grew up together in the countryside in Southern Sweden with their mom Carolina – a radiant personality and a devoted mother. In 2010 Carolina took her own life. That day, Hedvig turned 10 years old. Maja found Carolina first. Sofia only remembers that everyone kept her from looking through the windows.

Left behind were three girls – 8, 10 and 16 years old. Today, they are young adults. They have moved on with their lives, but all have struggled in their own ways to cope with their loss. They have hardly talked about their mother’s suicide with each other, friends or family and rarely mention it to new acquaintances. Sofia only found out recently that her mother had bipolar disorder – Carolina’s struggles with it were not apparent to her daughters. Now, as they step into adult life, all three feel the need to make sense of their experiences and talk more openly about their mother’s death.

Filmmaker Jenifer Malmqvist met the sisters in 2011. She started filming almost immediately and followed them during a difficult year in their lives. Now, a decade later, Jenifer reconnects with the girls and tries to understand their journey with grief.

The sisters share memories and their own interpretations of the events leading up to andfollowing their mother’s suicide. The film documents this intimate process and the everyday lives of the girls as they grapple with their bereavement – the aftermath of trauma. With the rare circumstance of having filmed material from both the characters’ childhood and the present day, Daughters offers a unique perspective to grief and loss.

And, most importantly: hope for those in a similar situation.