Visions du Réel Review: Daughters

Most people will have known friends, family or even just acquaintances who have committed suicide. Many will have been in a position where they’ve contemplated doing it themselves. Even attempted it and been unsuccessful. It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re backed into a corner where you have no other choice. The aftermath of such a tragic event usually leaves a massive void and a trail of destruction in its wake.

Sofia, Hedvig and Maja were eight, ten and sixteen when their mother took her own life. While it left a terrible scar on all of them, that doesn’t mean to say their experiences have been the same. In Daughters, director Jenifer Malmqvist follows the sisters over a ten-year period. She quietly observes their conversations about their mother and watches them grow into young independent women. Allowing them to talk through their thoughts, memories and feelings.

Daughters is a deeply intimate experience. The ability to observe and listen to these sisters talk, throughout the decade, is something special. There is no right or wrong way to cope with grief, but talking always helps. It’s a powerful and moving experience. Almost cathartic. Along the way we watch them grow, learn and develop, capturing little moments of joy as well as heartbreak.  Daughters is a rare and precious thing.

Daughters screens at Visions du Réel.

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