top of page

The Nannies

Nominated for Best Short Documentary

Directed by Signe Barvild Stæhr

22' • Denmark • 2020


When I was 5 years old, I lost my mother. She died unexpected in the night, and when I woke up, everything was different.My father seemed like he was a changed man. We have never talked about the incident that night or the following years. As I can't remember much, I have contacted the nannies that stayed with me and my family in the end of the 80 ́s. In my family we have never spoken about this period before, so the film is about two things: To talk about something, which we – at least in my family – don’t talk about normally, and to recreate something forgotten. I do the film because I feel a big loss by having a black hole from when I was 5 up till 7 years old. It is my hope, that the film can inspire others to look at their past with new eyes in a way that allows new stories and narratives to develop. I am the main character of the film, as I try to reconstruct a forgotten time of my life. My father is also present in the film both as my helper (as only he can tell me about what happened in the night my mother died) and as an opponent (as he doesn’t always like to talk about this). Because my nannies stayed at my family’s address, I have found their names and their phone numbers through the registry office in the suburb, where I grew up. The film is a character driven story about a daughter trying to relive the past and a father trying to avoiding the past and a meeting with the women who coincidentally ended up as my nannies in the end of the 80’s. The film can be categorized as a performative documentary. As I started the project, I had an idea that I would found out ‘what really happened’ during the years that I can’t remember. I have now realized that my ‘witnesses’ have quite different explanations and memories. The film uses these ‘colliding realities’ in a creative way in which the film is build up around a fragmentary structure. In the film we see tableaus of young nannies performing my lost memories. The film also consists of playful images of crowds of nannies from the 80's taking over my childhood street.

bottom of page