Suzanne Osten’s Flickan Mamman Och Demonerna (The Girl, The Mother & The Demons) opened this weekend in Sweden, and tells the story of 7 year old Ti’s struggle to find help for both her mentally ill mother and herself.
On the film’s website Osten speaks openly about the truth behind the story: “When I was a child, no-one understood what I was about. Least of all myself. The background to this story is my own. I grew up with a mother who suffered from schizophrenia.”
“As a child it helped me to know that I was not alone and that there are solutions. But how do you tell this story for children? In 1998 I wrote a book in which I transformed the disease into demons. It made it possible to keep the love of the mother intact.”
“The urgency of the story is for all the kids who actually take care of their sick parents to see it. In every audience, every classroom, every city, there are children who don’t know that it’s not their fault that their parents are sick.”
“Our script has to be the first to take on psychosis and schizophrenia from the child’s point of view.”
Suzanne Osten’s most acclaimed films include Mamma, Bröderna Mozart (The Brothers Mozart), and Skyddsängeln (The Guardian Angel) which was selected for the Un Certain Regard programme at Cannes in 1990. In 2015, Osten was appointed as the first Children’s Film Ambassador for the Swedish Film Institute.