One of Us
dir. Niina Vuorisara, Finland 2024
Niina Vuorisara’s experimental documentary short One of Us takes a harrowing journey to memories of a childhood riddled with sibling violence. “It’s hard to talk about these things. But this is how I see it, how things went – and how I remember them,” the director’s own voice tells on the soundtrack. In the images, a sister sits on a hearse alongside the coffin of her brother who committed suicide. Archival material, fictional and animated scenes blend on the trip to the past moving on the limits of fiction and documentary.
Content warning: discussions of sexual and physical violence, suicide
Child No. 182
Camilla Roos’ documentary Child No. 182 focuses on the director’s own childhood, which took her from foster homes to summer camps to children’s homes. Through her own memories and official materials, Roos draws out a tenderly personal portrait of child protective services in 1960s and 1970s Finland, as well as the first eight years of her life.
Roos was born in Sweden in 1964. Her mother’s mental health issues and her father’s alcoholism lead to Roos ending up in the child protective services system and becoming child number 182 very early on in her life. Roos goes through what happened document by document, mirroring them with her own memories. Slowly, the events along her journey start to unravel: the absence of her father, losing a foster parent, disagreements between her own and her foster mother, attempting to live with her own mother again. Little Camilla wants to be like Pippi Longstocking, without parents, but strong and capable.
The events are brought to life through stunning archive footage. Beautifully grainy 8mm film images create a hazy atmosphere to the film, while Roos’ own memories entwine touchingly with reports by officials and other sources.
Director Camilla Roos and producer Pia Andell attend the screening of their film on Wed, Jan 31.