Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

A painful catharsis

HUMAN 2018: DAUGHTER (My heart belongs to daddy)
Regissør: Sofia Haugan

Sofia Haugan will make a full-length documentary about her father who is a drug addict. But first she has to find him. 



The movie starts with Sofia ringing on a door. The woman who opens says that she has not seen her father for many years either. Sofia continues to search, street-wide and without luck.

19 months later she drives to retrieve her father, who comes out of jail. He seems handsome and harmless. In the passenger seat, he complains: “I've never sat so long ago ». Mouth-scrapped, she replies: "There will only be longer and longer penalties for each time!" "You know that a lot, you who are just 26," replies his father and laughs. Sofia sends him a grimace. The conversation seems exceptionally easy and free, considering the situation. Sofia knows too much about the consequences of her father's choices. Both scenes are symptomatic of the style and content of the film.

Being a "robber daughter" is no joke, but it can be a useful story. "As a kid, my dad and I shot with the bow and arrow, we also played 'hide beer bottle', 'check up the bartender' and 'run from the taxi bill'. These toys escalated until my mom and I had to flee for life. ”Sofia Haugan's documentary oozes charm, vulnerability and humor. She has a lot of heart and she wants many things at once. And the worse things get, the stronger she gets: Sofia has set out to help her father, to see if he can be a father to her. She's going to make sure he gets drunk.

Being a "robber daughter" is no joke, but it can be a useful story.

Everything for the movie. Does Sofia take water over her head? Yes. She ends up becoming the adult in the relationship, the one who arranges everything. The line of conflict has long been about whether it is possible to defuse the danger. He cracks, turning to the same thin excuses. Anyway: Dad's possible rehabilitation is the carrot that makes Sofia impossible to cut contact. She is even present while putting a syringe. Camera rolls, but Sofia herself chooses to ignore as the syringe is set. But she does not escape: repeatedly she sees this, during the editing of the film and on the film screenings. And not just this one recording, this one shot.

Within this film genre, the audience expects confrontations and great emotions. Røverdatter fulfills, but relies formally on the dueling by syringes that are put, and on the accompanying intoxication. The grip is wrapped up in attempts at conciliatory humor. The standing joke is that you can't go to detox if you have nothing to worry about. Sofia is exceptionally patient and helpful. Isn't she getting enough soon?

The film sensationalizes the same substance abuse that is why Sofia does not know, or becomes aware of, her father. She, on the other hand, gets to know the father in the role of junkie. I wonder how Haugan coped with having to go through hundreds of hours recording his father. Did she manage to look at everything, or did she leave most of it to the mower? How was it for her to see all the moments, clipped to a movie of the night?

Staging scenes that are shaky. His father has been responsible for most of the "intoxicants" himself, and he feels that he does gir daughter something, even if the intoxication is what hurts and creates distance. In one of the recordings, he complains about his active self-medication. The father's filming is characterized by the attempt to stage himself. In the beginning he has set himself up with flowers, skirts and clean clothes. But the picture is missing: Beyond the film, it is the stereotype of a junkie he gives us. He cycles frantically around, with the hat pulled down well, aims at the camera with (play) rifle and rushes camera-wrenching. It culminates in a long take with overtones: His girlfriend shoots heroin at the bathroom the night before going into detox. The soundtrack reveals that he is doing the same. While this is going on, we know it's not long since the boyfriend took an overdose and was rescued by ambulance personnel.

Mortality and risk are not confronted. The boundaries of substance abuse are blurred. The film and television industry are flirting with drugs and crime, leaving it dangerous dangerous spice. The father and the movie just follow the given convention, but it gives a slight taste. The crowd is cheering for Sofia anyway, and wants so much that she must get enough soon. That she must stop helping the man who self-pity thinks he was deprived of a daughter, who does not want to realize that it was addiction and violence that came between them. He has done the damage he has caused. She has succeeded. But what does he know about it? Isn't her daughter's insistent, longtime filming evidence to the contrary: That she's desperately looking for a place to place her own thoughts and feelings?

The film sensationalizes the same substance abuse that is why Sofia does not know, or becomes aware of, her father.

Painful confrontation. Sofia takes hold. She forces herself and her father down on the couch for self-examination: What will they achieve with the film? He wants to get to know her, he replies. How will he be able to do so, as long as she is trapped in the role of the one who takes responsibility for him? Sofia has great expectations – mostly for herself. During the film she manages to adjust these expectations. She begins to realize that her father's detoxification is not her responsibility, nor her choice.

Sofia takes the long-awaited confrontation and leaves. It makes good to see her let go of the bar. Too many children of substance abusers take responsibility for their parents. With this film Sofia Haugan shares the process of dealing with something that will never be easy.

Haugan describes well that the worst is when you allow yourself to hope – that's when you become vulnerable. Hanne Hukkelberg's music holds all the emotions Sofia is so brave in. The music lifts the film towards an emotional catharsis. The filmmaker does not get the end she hopes for, but she delves deep into her own emotions and feels her own life force.

The title Røverdatter provides a double soundtrack. Recently it was revealed that Astrid Lindgren's famous children's book Ronja Robber Daughter is inspired by a young woman struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. The axis in history is the difficult relationship with the father.

The film will be shown at Human IDFF in Oslo from 7 to 13 March

Ellen Lande
Ellen Lande
Lande is a film writer and director and a regular writer for Ny Tid.

You may also like