Competition film Hope draws on director’s own story

21. 9. 2020, 18:09
Febiofest 2020

Norwegian filmmaker Maria Sødahl presented her second film Hope in person in Toronto and Berlin and planned to do so in Prague in March. In the end, however, she was unable to introduce the Czech pre-premiere of her picture at Febiofest because of the Covid situation. But she did send a video message.

In the video the director explains her decision to use her memories of the week when she was waiting for confirmation of a diagnosis that she was dying of cancer as the basis for a film. “Why did I choose to tell this story which is so personal? That’s a question I always receive. The answer is quite simple. I really didn’t want to make this movie. I dislike sentimental cancer dramas. So when there was no way around it I actually ended up writing my most autobiographical project ever, almost against my will. That was important to me – to not make that sentimental cancer drama,” the director said.

Sødahl said that the major challenge was finding the correct balance so the film was not private but personal. “So that the audience can identify with the emotions and actions – not always flattering – and maybe would be able to reflect on their own lives and choices. Because this is very much a movie about life, not so much about death,” said the director, calling on the audience not to be shy to laugh, despite the dramatic, existential subject matter.

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