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Psychosis in Stockholm

Psykos i Stockholm
Directed by: Maria Bäck
SE/DK 2020101' se

A teenage girl uses her phone to film her mother on a train, calling her a movie star. Suddenly, following a string of unamusing blonde jokes, the girl watches as her mother has a nervous breakdown. She is no longer the same person that boarded the train. The 14-year-old was hoping for a care-free birthday party when they arrived in Stockholm, but her mother’s deteriorating mental state forces her to spend four lonely days wandering around the city alone, constantly returning to her mother’s voice in her thoughts. 

20 years ago, director Maria Bäck went to Stockholm on holiday with her mother and witnessed how the person closest to her became a stranger before her eyes, because of bipolar disorder. With her extensive experience in the worlds of dance, photography, poetry and documentary filmmaking, Bäck approaches her feature debut with compassion and recognises the endlessness of a mother’s love. The voices that frame the narrative are documentary – they belong to Bäck and her mother, whose almost 500 page-long medical history is woven into the script. Both voices seep into the viewer’s consciousness and prompts the question: how does someone who no longer recognises themselves experience the world?

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