Forgiveness Is Too Small A Word For Love

In the two films "My Dear Mother" and "Father," children are forcibly separated from their parents. This does not happen by fate, but on purpose. Marginalized groups, minorities, are affected by the theft of children. In "My Dear Mother" it is the ethnic minority of the Sámen, in "Father" the social fringe group of destitute day laborers who become victims of this brutal assault. Tolerated or desired by the majority society, the goal in both cases is the complete assimilation of the children.

Wide and multilayered images are discovered by Srđan Golubović for his film "Father". His protagonist fights for the right to give his children a home. On the other hand, the documentary "My Dear Mother" stays very close to young Tasha, who grows up in an orphanage believing that her mother is dead. In the background story to his film, director Paul-Anders Simma describes the global and historical dimension of a brutal event.

02:00 pm Sunday, June 20th 2021
Doublefeature „Forgiveness Is Too Small A Word For Love“ – Part 1

2020, Srdan Golubović

Nikola, a penniless father, has his two adolescent children taken away from him by the social welfare office after poverty and hunger have driven his wife to an act of desperation. At first, they say the children will be placed with foster families until he can provide adequate conditions for their upbringing. But despite Nikola's sincere efforts and several pleas, the head of the social services department refuses to return the children to him. Nikola finds out that corruption is behind this course of action. He decides to travel across Serbia on foot and present his case to the responsible ministry in Belgrade. Against all odds and driven by love and desperation, the father fights an almost hopeless battle to save his children.

"Father" is a road movie that uses the imagery of a Western to tell a fairy tale story set in the Balkans. The hero of the film is a hero of our time, but as in a Western, no injustice can take away his right to dignity and the love of his children. Goran Bogdan embodies the day laborer Nikola, who must exist on the fringes of society, with compelling truthfulness. As he walks through the seemingly endless expanses of the Balkan countryside, he is reminiscent of Harry Dean Stanton in Wim Wenders' "Paris, Texas" (1984) - driven by hope in search of a way to continue living his life with dignity.

Nikola's path leads him through scenic images that seem both real and symbolic - from the half-finished houses of his village to desolate streets, endless fields, past industrial plants that have become superfluous, and behind the reinforced concrete and glass facades of the capital's government district. When he returns home after this journey, a surprise awaits him that no one would have thought possible. 

Production Countries

Srdan Golubović
Ognjen Sviličić

Director of Photography
Aleksandar Ilić

Petar Marković

Art Director
Goran Joksimović
Predrag Petrović

Costume Designer
Ljiljana Petrović

Make-Up Artist
Marinela Spasenović

Bruno Tarriere
Erik Mischijew
Corinna Fleig

Mario Schneider

04:15 pm Sunday, June 20th 2021
Doublefeature „Forgiveness Is Too Small A Word For Love“ – Part 2

My dear Mother
2020, Paul-Anders Simma

Tasha believes she is an orphan until one day her birth mother contacts her. The eleven-year-old girl lives in a Russian orphanage and in the belief that her mother is dead and her father is in prison for life. In the meantime, she has found a Russian stepmother there with whom she has developed a close relationship. Several years ago, the authorities had already declared her mother dead, supposedly from an overdose. But one day her birth mother calls her and claims that she is now drug-free.

Tasha is a Sámi, which is the actual name for that indigenous people who were commonly referred to as "Lapps." All over the world, children of various indigenous peoples have been "stolen" and placed in orphanages in hopes that they will be assimilated into the majority population. Although Tasha longs to have a mother of her own, she is afraid to make the inevitable decision: Will she become a Sámi by returning to her birth mother, or will she become a Russian with her foster mother?

Paul-Anders Simma follows the adolescent Tasha over several years. Although the fate of the indigenous peoples is in the foreground for the director, he tells another, larger story through Tasha's story. What ties, what imprints go beyond the question of who our parents are - and what needs arise from this? Paul-Anders Simma leaves the viewer with the confidence that Tasha will master her difficult situation and lead a self-determined life.

Production Country

Director of Photography
Elen Lotman
Arvo Vilu 

Jari Innanen

Martti Turunen

Esa Kotilainen

Daria Marochina