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Ønskebørn

Children are trying to survive the aftermath of war in Kosovo by selling cigarettes on the street.

Film notes

Through monologues performed by the children against the eerie backdrops of Pristina, the film tells their gripping and sad story of memory, loss and fear.

Director's statement:

I am attracted to places that are secretive. When I visited Pristina in Kosovo for the first time I experienced a secret city. A city that is marked by the fact that people can’t leave and almost nobody goes there without a special errand. At the same time it is a place that alongside the strange and sad feeling of the place, there is a strong feeling of reality. The war ended 10 years ago, yet I could still feel it very clearly. There was an atmosphere of loss, hope, desperation, sorrow and survival. This atmosphere and these places are what motivated me to make a film there. It was this atmosphere of something very close at hand, yet in a way incomprehensible, that made me want to film in the city and re-create the reality I found there.

The children in the film are secret children. They live an invisible life. In the bars and streets of the city, they sell cigarettes, chewing gum, telephone cards and peanuts, seeking to earn enough so that their families can survive. We met the children on the street, and I interviewed 11 children in 2007. In the interviews, it was their memories, their expression, their common stories, and their experience of life that interested me. It was an attempt to capture the human being, but not an attempt to capture their social situations. Situations that I feel speak for themselves. Nor was it an attempt to capture the individual child. It was their common story and their common memories and maybe a glimpse of their soul, that I sought.

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Previous screenings

2010
23 Jul – 8 Aug | Melbourne, Australia

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 13 Oct 2010